Data from large Swedish study supports exercise after first-line therapy


According to a media release issued by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) new data from a large Swedish study show lower overall and prostate cancer-specific mortality in prostate cancer patients who exercise regularly.

The abstract of the actual paper (by Bonn et al.) is available on line in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Here are the key data from the abstract and the AACR media release:

  • The study is based on data from 4,623 Swedish men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer from 1997 to 2002 and followed until 2012.
  • All patients were participants in the National Prostate Cancer Register of Sweden Follow-up Study (a retrospective, nationwide cohort study of men with localized prostate cancer) who were alive in 2007.
  • Data on physical activity of a variety of types were obtained through paper- and web-based questionnaires about lifestyle.
  • Information about cause and date of death was obtained from the Swedish Cause-of-Death Registry.
  • Compared with men who walked or cycled less, men with localized prostate cancer who walked or cycled for 20 or more minutes a day had
    • A 30 percent lower risk of overall mortality (i.e., death from any cause)
    • A 39 percent lower risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality
  • Compared with men who were less active, men who engaged in ≥ 1 hours of exercise per week had
    • A 26 percent lower risk of overall mortality
    • A 32 percent risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality
  • Because study data came only from men who were still alive in 2007,
    • They probably exclude men with more aggressive forms of prostate cancer.
    • They are probably most applicable to men with low- and intermediate-risk forms of prostate cancer.

According to the study’s lead author:

Our results extend the known benefits of physical activity to include prostate cancer-specific survival. However, it is important to remember that our results are on a group level. An individual’s survival depends on many factors, but physical activity is one factor that individuals can modify. Hopefully, our study can motivate men to be physically active even after a prostate cancer diagnosis.

The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink is supportive of that expression of hope. After (and before) any diagnosis of and treatment for localized prostate cancer, there is every reason to believe that regular exercise is a good thing!

One Response

  1. Well, since I live in Sweden, do not have a car, walk around a lot, say while shopping, had localised prostate cancer, and am now 5+ years since start of treatment, I will continue my battle against the “Big C” (phrase from somebody on a horse smoking a Camel, named John Whine), I feel I have won my fight against the enemy (see the post about military language and cancer). Still, it is hard for me to believe that risk strata were not included in this report.

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