According to reports at last week’s Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology, it seems like there might be good news for prostate cancer patients who want to help boost the effects of their cancer treatments.
Researchers at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University have found that light exercise in the form of walking can help stave off bone loss in men with prostate cancer.
“Prostate cancer patients are not routinely advised to exercise. Walking is one tool that prostate cancer patients can use to improve their health and minimize the side effects of cancer and cancer treatments,” said Paula Chiplis, PhD., RN, the lead author of the study and a clinical instructor and senior research assistant at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
“Walking has no harmful side effects, if done moderately, but it can dramatically improve life for men suffering from side effects from some prostate cancer treatments.”
Generally, men who are diagnosed with localized prostate cancer treatment follow a rigorous treatment plan that begins with radiation therapy and is followed by long-term hormone therapy. Often times, men undergoing that type of of hormone therapy are at risk for bone density loss, as the treatment decreases both testosterone and estrogen levels in the body.
These results were based on a study that examined 70 sedentary men with Stage I, II, or III prostate cancer. The study’s participants were randomly assigned to a group that either walked a half-hour about 5 times a week or a control group that followed no directed exercise program. The authors of the study plan to follow up their findings by determining whether a nurse-directed, home-based walking program can help boost mobility and function in prostate cancer patients during their cancer treatment and management stages.
This bodes well for prostate cancer patients who actively want to want to help boost their treatments. You can read more about the study here.