January 29th, 2020

World Cancer Day

Exercise in the battle against prostate cancer
Prostate Cancer | Where The Money Goes
1 MIN READ
 

Since 2003, Movember has been at the frontline of the fight against prostate cancer, funding hundreds of research projects and bringing together the brightest minds to work on new ways of tackling the disease.
 
In recent years, there has been increasing evidence to suggest that exercise may reduce the risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer, improve quality of life for those undergoing treatment and perhaps even prolong survival for men with advanced disease.
 
On World Cancer Day, here are some of the ways exercise could be used as an effective weapon in the battle against prostate cancer:

REDUCES RISK OF AGGRESSIVE DISEASE
 
We already know that a regular workout lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes and a number of cancers. However, a recently published study  found that men who exercise daily may also halve their risk of getting prostate cancer.
 
A team funded by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and Cancer Research UK, measured levels of physical activity among 79,148 men with prostate cancer and 61,106 without.
 
The study found those that were the most active had a 51 per cent reduced risk of prostate cancer compared with those who were the least active.

HELPS YOU COPE WITH TREATMENT
 
Staying physically active might be the last thing on your mind when you’re exhausted from dealing with cancer - but it is thought that exercise could make a huge difference during treatment.
 
Regular workouts have also been proven to help prevent a decline in cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness.
 
A 2016 Movember-funded pilot study  led by Professor Rob Newton from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia found that exercise had the effect of helping men lose weight they may have gained through hormone therapy and helped them cope better with cancer-related fatigue and the toxic effects of chemotherapy.

IMPROVES QUALITY OF LIFE AFTER CANCER
 
Treatments for prostate cancer can sometimes leave a man with a higher risk of developing illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, heart attack and strokes. This is because the hormones used for treatment affect how fats in the diet are metabolised and stored.
 
Men who are overweight or obese when they are diagnosed with prostate cancer are more likely to get side effects from treatment. Some of these side effects can be improved by taking up regular exercise. It may also prevent the cancer coming back.  

MAY PROLONG SURVIVAL
 
We are still trying to understand whether exercise improves the prognosis for men with advanced disease.
 
That’s why Movember initiated the INTERVAL-GAP4 trial, the first randomised controlled trial in the world aimed at proving whether high-intensity aerobic exercise and resistance training could extend the lives of men with metastatic prostate cancer. More information about this project can be found here. Over 20 research teams from eight countries, including the UK, US, Canada, Australia and Germany, are working together to recruit 866 men to test whether exercise could be prescribed as a medicine alongside standard treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or hormone therapy.
 
Men on the supervised exercise arm are given a detailed training plan – designed to increase their strength, fitness and overall health - specifically tailored to them and their condition which they follow for two years.
 
Institutions that have joined the GAP4 trial include Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia, the University of Colorado in the US, University of Montreal in Canada, Kings College London and the German Sports University in Cologne.
 
It’s an ambitious project and there is still a long way to go but we hope it will eventually lead to a revolution in the way we tackle advanced prostate cancer.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP?
 
To mark World Cancer Day, Movember is encouraging everyone to take action – big or small – in the fight against a disease that destroys lives and robs families of precious time with the fathers, brothers, uncles and friends they love.
 
That action could mean making a commitment to exercise regularly to improve your own health and reduce your risk of developing cancer later in life.
 
Or it could mean joining our 300,000-strong Mo community to help raise funds for our breakthrough biomedical research projects and life-changing cancer support services. Being part of the Movember movement gives us the power to collectively raise awareness of the crisis in men’s health and change that picture for good.