In a new study, researchers found that a prescription of short-term exercise for patients with advanced prostate cancer could help to reduce the side-effects of hormone therapy.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of East Anglia and elsewhere.
The team examined patients who were due to start androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).
Fifty patients took part in the research study, with half of the participants taking part in two supervised exercise sessions a week for three months at specialist exercise science facilities at UEA.
The study aimed to reduce the adverse side-effects of hormone therapy such as weight gain and an increased risk of heart problems and assessed participants’ health three months after their exercise program.
The findings showed that the three-month program of aerobic and resistance training intervention prevented problems in cardiopulmonary fitness and fatigue for those taking part in the exercise program.
After the supervised exercise was withdrawn, differences in cardiopulmonary fitness and fatigue were not sustained, but the exercise group showed a higher quality of life and reduced cardiovascular risk compared to the control group.
The team says that structured exercise programs have much to offer people living with common cancers.
Hormone treatments for prostate cancer are known to have undesirable side-effects, which increase a man’s susceptibility to cardiovascular disease.
This research shows that some of the harmful side-effects of hormone therapy are reduced in men who begin to exercise regularly around the same time that these drugs are prescribed.
The findings have important implications for the quality of prostate cancer survival.
One author of the study is Prof John Saxton, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School.
The study is published in the British Journal of Urology International.
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