Could Exercise Improve the Prostate Cancer Survival Rate?

In the modern United States, prostate cancer is survivable. While there are a number of factors that play into the general survival of cancers, one major factor is early diagnosis. Nearly 3.3 million American men are survivors of prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). These men account for 21% of all survivors worldwide.

Previously, there were few things that Science was aware of that could improve the mortality rate of prostate cancer. However, as technology progressed and times changed, we now have a world of opportunity available to us. Consider that now we know that moderate or even vigorous exercise, all the while regular, can improve a man’s chances of survival of prostate cancer. Can we conclusively determine from a glance that a person’s chances of survival are higher based on circumstantial evidence?  Of course not. Nevertheless, exercise is wholesome for the body. Certain exercises, streches and features of sports have been proven to lower one’s mortality rate, says the American Cancer Society.

Ying Wang, a study author at the ACS, along with some of his colleagues looked at the society’s own data and examined some 7,000 prostate cancer cases. The cases studied contained diagnoses which took place between 1992 and 2011. The median age of the men examined was 71 years old. Unfortunately, some 2,700 men died over the course of the study—750 deaths due to heart disease, while 450 were from prostate cancer. What were the results?

Men who had less body fat overall, who were less likely to smoke, ate fish often and took vitamins were more likely to be health-conscious. To that end, 73% of the physical activity these men did consisted of walking, followed by 10% bike riding, and about 5% aerobic exercise. While these statistics are approximate, is it noteworthy that researchers looked at how often each man worked out. Although all the men who exercised saw a lower death risk, walking or running alone did not seem to bring any benefit. Rather, it was the combination of food and lifestyle choices, coupled with regular exercise that led to the increased overall well-being of these survivors.

That said, the study had a major drawback. In that, all the of data collected was self-reported. Researchers neither first-handedly observed nor noted participants’ exercise regiments or lifestyle choices. Rather, particpants documented their own statistics, thereafter submitting them to the researchers.

All of this said, what is the conclusion? With the myriad of options and treatments available, every loss of human life is a tragedy—albeit by cancer or any other means. It is imperative that every person living take his health seriously. And why not? We place heavy concern on our freedoms, our rights and our possesions; why not place equal or even greater concern on our very lives!

It is recommend for healthy living that each person moderately exercise about 150 minutes weekly or 75 minutes vigorously. Yet, this is only the beginning. Men who have made unwise health and lifestyle choices in the past should consult their physician to begin a regimen suited to their needs. To that extent, men who are now able to see the results of their choices surfacing in their health will want to act quickly. While no one can conclusively determine what factors may or may not altogether prevent prostate cancer, there are a number of opportunities to lessen its blow, help manage it and overall improve living conditions now and into the future.


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