A A brisk walk may prevent onset of prostate cancer

A A brisk walk may prevent onset of prostate cancer

A A brisk walk may prevent onset of prostate cancer

A new study has revealed that three hours of walking a week could delay or even prevent the disease’s progression — but the benefits are gained only by men who walk briskly, rather than at an easy pace.

Lead researcher Erin Richman at the University of California was quoted by the ‘Daily Mail’ as saying, “It appears that men who walk briskly after their diagnosis may delay or even prevent progression of their disease.

“The benefit from walking truly depended on how quickly you walked. Walking at an easy pace did not seem to have any benefit. Walking is something everyone can and should do to improve their health,” said Richman .

For the study, the researchers analysed 1,455 men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer that had not yet started to spread. The subjects’ physical activity levels were assessed two years after diagnosis and initial treatment.

Subsequently, the researchers recorded 117 events, including disease recurrence, bone tumours, and deaths caused by prostate cancer. They found men who walked briskly for at least three hours a week had a 57 per cent lower rate of disease progression than men who walked slowly for less time.

The findings, published in the ‘Cancer Research’ journal, only add to growing evidence that regular walking may combat a number of health problems, including heart disease and some cancers. When studying the effects of walking, the researchers took account of whether patients were overweight and excluded those who engaged in vigorous activity such as running, cycling and lap swimming.

The distances walked did not influence the findings, with any length of walking linked to less risk of prostate cancer progressing. The researchers said brisk walking may inhibit the spread of the disease in several ways. It may help reduce circulating levels of insulin, a growth-stimulating chemical, and a metabolism protein secreted by fat cells.

All three have been shown to promote the proliferation of prostate cancer cells, and are associated with a risk of advanced or fatal disease. Dr Helen Rippon, head of research management for The Prostate Cancer Charity, added: “This study offers better evidence than most that physical activity can slow the progression of prostate cancer.”