January 21st, 2014
Let’s face it. As tough as it often is to get ourselves to the gym. As exhausting as it is to add that extra mile to our run. As grueling as it may be to up our weights by one pound. Deep down, in our heart of hearts, we know how important exercise is for our bodies, minds, hearts and souls.
A recent study(Link) might be able to explain why exercise is particularly beneficial for men with prostate cancer.
Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco reported that men who engage in higher levels of physical activity have a lower risk of prostate cancer recurrence and mortality(Read about prostate cancer mortality rate) compared to men who participate in little or no physical activity.
The reason? Men who walked at a fast pace prior to their prostate cancer diagnosis had more regularly shaped blood vessels in their prostate tumors, compared with more slow-walking men.
It is an important finding since “prior research has shown that men with prostate tumors containing more regularly shaped blood vessels have a more favorable prognosis compared with men with prostate tumors containing mostly irregularly shaped blood vessels,” said Erin Van Blarigan, Sc.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
Researchers examined data from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which provided a close-look into how nutritional and lifestyle factors affect the incidence of serious illnesses The study asked participants questions about their health and lifestyle every two years and questions about diet every four years.
The study’s findings were presented at the AACR-Prostate Cancer Foundation Conference on Advances in Prostate Cancer Research.
Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco looked specifically at data from 572 men in the study who had had a transurethral resection of the prostate or a radical prostatectomy. Additionally, they looked at the blood vessels of the prostate tumors, and also examined data on a participant’s physical activity prior to prostate cancer diagnosis.
They found an association between walking speed before prostate cancer diagnosis and the regularity of the prostate tumor blood vessels. The tumor blood vessels were 8 percent more regularly shaped for the men who walked the fastest — between 3.3 and 4.5 miles per hour — compared with the men who walked the slowest — between 1.5 and 2.5 miles per hour.
So men, grab your running shoes, put your headphones on and head outside for a brisk jog. Your body will thank you later!