How Exercise Reduces Your Risk of Prostate Cancer

Although exercise is one of 12 important changes you can make that will virtually eliminate your risk of cancer, its benefits hadn't been measured specifically against the damage done to men suffering from prostate cancer. Some have argued the link between exercise and a diminished risk of prostate cancer isn't particularly strong either, but I certainly wouldn't dismiss that benefit.

Especially after reviewing a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health that found men (ages 65 and older) who participate in regular and vigorous physical activity reduced their risk of contracting an advanced or fatal case of prostate cancer by some 70 percent. (Surprisingly, no link between exercise and reduced prostate cancer was found in younger men.)

The 14-year study surveyed some 48,000 men about the various activities they pursued, including hiking, walking, swimming and cycling. During the study, about 2,900 cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed, and close to 17 percent of them were diagnosed as advanced cases.

Here's the catch: To take advantage of the protection exercise provides, men need to work out vigorously at least three hours a week. That's not at all surprising, considering exercise works to drive your insulin levels down, and controlling those levels is one of the most powerful ways you can reduce your cancer risks.

Other ways you can prevent prostate cancer:

For more informed advice, I urge you to read the latest advice I've posted from noted prostate cancer expert and survivor, Dr. Larry Clapp.

Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 165, No. 9, May 9, 2005: 1005-1010

BBC News May 9, 2005

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