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Regular Brisk Walks May Protect Prostate Cancer Patients
Date:5/24/2011

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- Prostate cancer patients who take brisk walks on a regular basis fare better than those who don't, a new study suggests.

They not only lower their risk for disease progression, they lower their chances of dying from the disease, the researchers reported.

The finding builds on earlier research from the same group of scientists that had indicated that "vigorous physical activity" reduces the risk of dying from prostate cancer.

"Men who engaged in brisk walking, defined as three miles per hour or faster, after a diagnosis of clinically localized prostate cancer, had a reduced risk of prostate cancer progression compared to men who walked at an easy pace [less than two miles per hour]," said study author Erin L. Richman, a research associate in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco.

"Men who engaged in three hours per week or more of brisk walking had the greatest benefit," Richman added, "with a 57 percent lower risk of disease progression compared to men who walked less than three hours per week at an easy pace. These results were independent of clinical prognostic factors, dietary factors and lifestyle factors such as obesity and smoking."

Richman's report appears in the June 1 issue of Cancer Research.

The study authors pointed out that about 2.2 million men now struggle with a prostate cancer diagnosis in the United States, and the disease is the second most common cause of cancer deaths among American men. In 2010, approximately 217,000 new cases were diagnosed.

To explore how lifestyle might impact disease progression following a diagnosis, the study team focused on 1,455 prostate cancer patients who were enrolled at one of 40 urology clinics in 2004 and 2005.

At the time the study launched, all the men had locali
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