Calgary study finds prostate cancer patients who exercise live longer

Calgary cancer researcher Dr. Christine Friedenreich watches as study participant and cancer survivor Colin Cantile walks on a treadmill March 23, 2016. Global News

CALGARY – New research suggests physical activity can help men with prostate cancer live longer.

“We’re talking about reductions in risk of mortality by up to 40 per cent, which is actually quite huge,” said Dr. Christine Friedenreich, a cancer researcher with Alberta Health Services and lead author of the study.

READ MORE: Does prostate cancer screening do more harm than good?

Researchers tracked more than 800 patients over 17 years, measuring the amount of exercise they did before a cancer diagnosis, during treatment and after their recovery.

“What we found is that the men who were most physically active after prostate cancer had the best survival rate.”

The study, published in European Urology, also found more exercise was better but not required–even just a daily 30-minute walk had benefits. Previous studies have also linked exercise to a decreased risk of endometrial, lung, colon and breast cancer.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: New study concludes regular exercise helps prevent cancer 

“We don’t know exactly why–that’s something we’re studying right now,” Friedenreich said. “We know that physical activity helps reduce things like levels of body fat; it improves inflammation, insulin resistance and reduces some of the sex hormones that are related to a number of these cancers.”

About 2,200 men in Alberta are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year.

READ MORE: Should you get a prostate screening test? New guidelines are against it 

Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage related to prostate cancer

Sponsored content