One Brisk Step at a Time

Prostate cancer patients benefit from brisk walking

(RxWiki News) Brisk walking is a good aerobic activity for anyone. It's now known to be particularly healthful for newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients.

Walking briskly for at least three hours a week can help men who have just been diagnosed with  prostate cancer. That's the finding of a new study published in Cancer Research.

"Get outside and walk to fight prostate cancer."

“It appears that men who walk briskly after their diagnosis may delay or even prevent progression of their disease,” said lead researcher Erin Richman, Sc.D., a research associate at the University of California, San Francisco.

This study adds to growing evidence that a regular routine of vigorous walking helps prevent a variety of health problems - ranging from cardiovascular disease to certain cancers.

Richmond and colleagues found that speed is key. Brisk - not leisurely - walking was beneficial.

The team observed 1,455 men who had been diagnosed with localized (had not spread) prostate cancer. Patients reported their physical activity about 27 months after diagnosis and before any evidence of recurrence.

Men who walked briskly for least three hours a week had a 57 percent lower rate of prostate cancer progressing than men who walked at an easy pace for less than three hours a week.

“The benefit from walking truly depended on how quickly you walked. Walking at an easy pace did not seem to have any benefit,” said Richman.

This same collaborative research team had recently reported in a separate study that vigorous exercise helped to prevent death from prostate cancer.

“We have had some studies that show a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer, but this is strong evidence of a benefit after someone is diagnosed.” said Stephen M. Schwartz, Ph.D., a full member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and a senior editor of Cancer Research.

Review Date: 
May 22, 2011