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Exercise May Improve Odds Against Prostate Cancer Death
Date:1/5/2011

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Prostate cancer patients who routinely engage in modest amounts of vigorous physical exercise appear to lower their risk of dying from their disease, new research suggests.

Three hours a week or more of vigorous biking, tennis, jogging or swimming seems to improve the prognosis among such patients, the research team found. But they added that even moderate physical activity appears to lower the overall risk of dying from any cause.

"This is the first study in men with prostate cancer to evaluate physical activity after diagnosis in relation to prostate cancer-specific mortality and overall mortality," noted study author Stacey Kenfield, a research associate in the department of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as at the Channing Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital, both in Boston.

"We observed benefits at very attainable levels of activity," Kenfield added, "and our results suggest that men with prostate cancer should do some physical activity for their overall health, even if it is a small amount, such as 15 minutes of activity per day of walking, jogging or biking. Vigorous activity may be especially beneficial for prostate cancer, as well as overall health, at levels of three or more hours per week."

The findings are published in the Jan. 4 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The researchers noted that although prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men, the news is not all grim. They pointed out that more than 80 percent of prostate cancer patients have localized disease, and the 10-year survival rate post-diagnosis is upwards of 93 percent. The upshot is that more than 2 million American men are prostate cancer survivors.

To explore how exercise might further improve the odds of survival, Kenfield and her colleagues tracked the physical exercise r
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