Walking inhibits, reverses bone loss caused from prostate cancer treatment

November 14th, 2007 - 3:01 am ICT by admin  
According to the researchers, regular exercise is expected to trim down and repel the drop off caused by the hormonal radiation therapies thereby diminishing the potential risk of bone fractures.

Men with localized prostate cancer recurrently undergo radiation therapy to slay the cancer cells. Radiation is used to kill the cancer cells, while hormone therapy decreases testosterone and estrogen that feed the cancer cells, thereby keeping the tumor from growing.

Men undergoing hormone therapy lose between 4 to 13 percent of their bone density on an yearly basis, compared to healthy men who lose between 0.5 to 1 percent per year, beginning in middle age. Men are generally not found to be the sufferers of osteoporosis and bone fractures; however, their rate of bone loss is greater than that of post-menopausal women.

The current research shows that prostate cancer patients undergoing hormonal therapy who walked five times a week for 30 minutes gained bone density while others who didn’t exercise lost more that 2 percent of their bone density in eight to nine weeks.

“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.” he added.

The study involved 70 sedentary men with Stage I-III prostate cancer, who were randomly assigned to either participate in the exercise plan or usual care (not exercise) during radiation treatment, with more than half also receiving hormone therapy.

The study was presented at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology’s 49th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. (ANI)

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