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Your Cancer Answers: Why should prostate cancer patients exercise? | Your Cancer Answers

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John Malinowski

John Malinowski


Question: Why should prostate cancer patients exercise?

Many prostate cancer patients receive therapies and procedures that have a negative effect on our physical capabilities to complete our normal activities of daily living as usual. Some common side effects of this type of treatment are: fatigue, loss of muscle mass, increased body fat percentage and perceived decline of function of daily activities. A proven way to fight against these unwanted side effects of necessary treatments is through exercise.

In one study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology 155 men were randomly assigned to either a control group (no exercise intervention) or a 12-week exercise program including resistance training three days per week. The group who participated in exercise reported less frequency and less severity of fatigue from normal activities of daily living. The exercise group also demonstrated increases in upper body and lower body muscular strength and endurance.

For those that receive androgen deprivation therapy some potential side effects to consider are the potential effects of decreased muscle and bone development. Androgens are a group of hormones in our body that have a direct role in muscle and bone development. With the absence or reduction of these hormones we need external measures, like exercise to help combat these effects. Resistance exercise has been widely reported as having beneficial effects on increasing muscle mass, muscle strength and muscle endurance. It is also known to have positive effects on maintaining bone and connective tissue health which may help reduce your risk of injuries while exercising and in everyday life.

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