Importance of exercise for men with prostate cancer

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

By Jason Howland

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide. It's important that men are screened for the disease to catch it early, and a study in 2017 shows that exercise and physical activity as additional therapy may help improve patient outcomes.

Exercise is good for the body, and that holds true for men with prostate cancer.

"What we found is that exercise and general health can actually have an effect not just on the tumor biology, but how some of the treatments work on that biology," says Mitchell Humphreys, M.D., a Mayo Clinic urologist.

Watch this "Mayo Clinic Minute" video to hear Dr. Humphreys discuss the importance of exercise for men with prostate cancer:

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It's part of an emerging science called "physiological oncology" or "exercise oncology."

"They want to maximize how they're doing from a cardiovascular standpoint, which means the healthier their body is, the better they're going to do from their cancer, both before treatment, during treatment, and even after treatment," says Dr. Humphreys.

But before men with prostate cancer begin working out and improving overall fitness, it's important to talk to a health care provider.

"It doesn't come down to an individual, specific exercise. A lot of these programs have to be built to the individual. There needs to be some thoughtful considerations about how they're done and how patients employ them," says Dr. Humphreys.

And early detection of prostate cancer is key. Men in their 40s should start getting tested.

"Early diagnosis leads to better treatments, better prognosis and to a cure," he says.

Learn more

Learn more about prostate cancer and find a prostate cancer clinical trial at Mayo Clinic.

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A version of this article was originally published on the Mayo Clinic News Network.