Exercise seems to protect against prostate cancer

Diseases, Fitness

Over the past couple decades, more and more evidence has been accumulating that exercise not only helps keep your cardiovascular system healthy and your weight under control, but also diminishes your risk of developing cancer.

Today we present the results of a study published 11 February in the journal Cancer regarding exercise and prostate cancer.

Dr. Abhay A. Singh and associates at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center in North Carolina (USA), studied 307 men (164 Caucasian and 143 black) who were about to undergo a biopsy for suspected prostate cancer.

The researchers asked each man to rate his daily physical activity level, as the doctors wanted to see if activity level correlated with the results of their biopsies—if the men had cancer or not, and if so, how aggressive was the cancer. They also were interested to see if there were any racial differences regarding exercise and prostate cancer.

They divided the men into four different categories depending on their weekly activity levels—from sedentary, mildly active, moderately active, to highly active. Then the prostate biopsies were performed and 125 of the 307 men turned out to have cancer, and of the cancers, 54 were considered “high grade”, meaning that under the microscope these tumors had characteristics that they would act aggressively.

The results showed that men who reported their weekly activity level as moderate to high were 53 percent less likely to have a positive biopsy (meaning, showing cancer) than the men who were inactive or only mildly active. And the men who did show cancer on their biopsy were 13% less likely to show an aggressive cancer if they exercised at least moderately.

Unfortunately, the beneficial, protective effect of exercise was only true for the white men; for the black men, exercise did not seem to protect them from this cancer. The researchers were not sure why, but it suggests that prostate cancer in black men is genetically a different disease, making it both more likely and aggressive in blacks. Prostate cancer is more common in black men, and this current research may give some clues for future researchers to help figure out why.

This information gives one more reason to spend less time sitting and more time walking, running, biking, playing tennis, swimming, playing football, going to the gym…whatever you like to help keep you moving!

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Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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