Prostate cancer: can exercise prevent it?

In a recent study published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, an investigation was released into how regular physical activity affects the risk of prostate cancer. Researchers collected data from studies carried out, between 1982 and 2019of 57,652 Swedish men who had participated in two physical fitness tests to see if those who were more active were less likely to develop cancer.

European scientists got a more nuanced picture, using a national database with hundreds of thousands of lab results, including fitness tests that measure oxygen delivery to muscles; providing objective measurements. The reports clearly showed a relationship between physical activity and reduced risk of prostate cancer. They also showed that greater improvement in physical fitness was associated with greater risk reduction.

Within the study, only one percent were subsequently diagnosed with prostate cancer. The team of researchers found that those who had improved their physical fitness were 35 percent less likely to have been diagnosed with the disease.

According to American Cancer Society, One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime and the probability of developing it increases in all men after the age of 50. A 2021 study estimates that if all adults in the United States met physical activity guidelines, cancer diagnoses could decrease by three percent, or 46,000 cases, each year.

“Men, in general, are more aware of their health and also go to the doctor for prostate cancer screening. “Sometimes cancer cells can exist in the prostate for a lifetime and not be dangerous, so many men who do not undergo testing may never know they have prostate cancer,” he explained. Kate Bolam from the Swedish School of Sports and Health Sciencesto The New York Times.

In 2019, a review of the American College of Sports Medicine found that regular physical activity significantly reduced the risk of cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophageal adenocarcinoma, kidney and stomach. The same analysis also found that having a regular exercise habit was linked to better treatment outcomes and extended the life expectancies of those already living with cancer.

Studies against prostate cancer

Although it’s unclear exactly how this happens, experts say one explanation could be that exercise helps fight cancer by improving the way the immune system attacks and eradicates cancer cells. “We know that even a single session of exercise helps the body release immune cells into the circulation,” he explained. Neil Iyengar oncologist and medical scientist Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York He added: “In someone who exercises, you see more immune cells that are actually capable of eliminating cancer cells. While, in someone who is more sedentary, especially if they are obese, the opposite occurs.”

Researchers still don’t know exactly what dose and type of exercise are most effective, but both the American Cancer Society as the American Society of Clinical Oncology They recommend 150 minutes a week, or 20 minutes a day, of aerobic exercise. This can be light walking, jogging, or walking with weights.

The experts, interviewed by the New York media, also recommend: “Find an activity that you like and get moving. It could be playing with the children or grandchildren, taking a walk or signing up for a sports league. Consistency is the key, so it’s important to find an activity that doesn’t feel like an obligation. “Everyone has the opportunity to do something truly sustainable to lower their risk of prostate cancer and that is something that is completely within our control.”

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