Prostate Cancer and Exercise

Prostate cancer is the abnormal development of cells within the prostate. These cells can also spread outside the prostate into nearby or distant parts of the body. Prostate cancer is a slow growing form of cancer and men with “low grade” prostate cancer can live for many years without signs or symptoms. Although sometimes a “high grade” form prostate can develop rapidly, and symptoms can quickly spread and lead to morbidity. The two largest factors associated regarding developing prostate cancer are age and family history. Several other factors that impact your likelihood of developing prostate cancer are diet and lifestyle. Recent studies have indicated that eating high amounts of processed foods can impact your likelihood of developing many types of cancer including prostate cancer.

The prostate is a male reproductive gland that produces semen, the prostate needs testosterone to help grow and develop. Therefore, a common way to combat further complications from abnormal cell growth fuelled by testosterone is through Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT). Normally the prostate is the size of a Walnut, it is normal for this gland to grow with age and can impact urination. Some symptoms to be aware of are:

  • Feeling the frequent and sudden need to urinate
  • Difficulty when urination; trouble initiating flow or poor flow
  • Pain or discomfort when urinating
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Non-muscular pain in the lower back or hips

There are currently two main screening tests for prostate cancer, these include a Prostate Specific Antigen blood test, when high amounts of a specific protein linked to prostate cancer have been detected, further examinations may be necessary. The other main test to pre-diagnosing prostate cancer is a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE), where a GP will manually check the individual’s prostate for inflammation, swelling or abnormal size or shape.

In recent times, it has been demonstrated in multiple studies that exercise can help alleviate and decrease many of the side effects of ADT. Specifically exercise treatments should include bone loading. Multiple approaches to bone loading should be undertaken including resistance training and bone loading through impact, to reduce impact of treatment on bone mineral density. Aerobic training should be included in any exercise prescription to help further reduce the impact of fatigue and weight gain related to reduced testosterone production. If you are undergoing treatment for prostate or any other cancer you may benefit from treatment from an Exercise Physiologist. The main goals of exercise prescription are to improve the quality of life for an individual undergoing or post treatment.

If you experience any of the symptoms listed, you should consult your GP as soon as possible. Further to being diagnosed or currently undergoing treatment, it is recommended to commence exercise in a controlled and supervised manner as soon as possible. This will help reduce the impact of the condition and the side affects of treatment. An Accredited Exercise Physiologist is specifically trained in the needs of cancer patients and survivors and can tailor a program specific to your needs and abilities. For any further information on the benefits of exercise in regard to cancer, please contact Absolute Balance via email: info@absolutebalance.com.au or visit our website: www.absolutebalance.com.au

Jordan Woods

(B.Sc. Exercise, Sport Science, and Rehabilitation,

GradDipSc. Exercise Physiology Rehabilitation)

 

 

References

  1. Kibel A. Combined Resistance and Aerobic Exercise Program Reverses Muscle Loss in Men Undergoing Androgen Suppression Therapy for Prostate Cancer Without Bone Metastases: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Yearbook of Urology. 2010;2010:67-68. doi:10.1016/s0084-4071(10)79498-7.
  2. Kibel A. Combined Resistance and Aerobic Exercise Program Reverses Muscle Loss in Men Undergoing Androgen Suppression Therapy for Prostate Cancer Without Bone Metastases: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Yearbook of Urology. 2010;2010:67-68. doi:10.1016/s0084-4071(10)79498-7.
  3. What you need to know about prostate cancer | PCFA. Available at: http://www.prostate.org.au/awareness/general-information/what-you-need-to-know-about-prostate-cancer/.
  4. Treatment options | Prostate cancer. Available at: https://prostate-cancer.canceraustralia.gov.au/treatment.
  5. Better Health Channel. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/prostate-cancer-androgen-deprivation-therapy.
  6. Lee C, Leslie W, Czaykowski P, Gingerich J, Geirnaert M, Lau Y. A comprehensive bone health management approach for men with prostate cancer receiving androgen deprivation therapy. Current Oncology. 2011;18(4). doi:10.3747/co.v18i4.746.