A Answers (2)
Exercise slows prostate cancer. In a 14-year analysis of 47,620 male health professionals, researchers concluded that regular vigorous exercise could help reduce chances of suffering from prostate cancer and also slow the progression of the disease in those that have it.
Patrick Maguire, MD, Oncology, answered
The Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study included over 29,000 men, of whom 317 developed prostate cancer. Investigators evaluated activity type and intensity and found a protective effect against prostate cancer from being physically active. Men who walked regularly had a clear benefit over those who were sedentary. So, in this massive study, exercise didn't have to be too strenuous; just walking helped.
A couple of case-control studies have shown a benefit to physical activity in decreasing prostate cancer risk. One study in China revealed that men who participated in moderate physical activity had less risk of prostate cancer. They also found a dose-response such that less activity was less protective. A larger Italian study that included 1,300 cases and almost 1,500 control patients revealed that men from age 30 to age 59 who engaged in more strenuous activity at work had a significantly decreased risk of prostate cancer.
Unfortunately though, the results of all studies on this topic aren't consistently positive. Two other massive studies failed to show a clear benefit to physical activity in decreasing prostate cancer risk. The Health Professionals Follow-up Study included almost 48,000 men ranging in age from 40 to 75 years. The researchers evaluated the role of total physical activity, both vigorous and nonvigorous. They found no clear relationship with the development of prostate cancer, though there was a suggestion that metastatic prostate cancer (cancer that's spread to distant sites and is generally incurable) was less likely to occur in men who performed vigorous exercise regularly.