Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
ECU Health and Wellness Institute
Since initial reports in the mid-1980s, there has been increasing interest in the application of exercise as medicine for the prevention and management of cancer. A large number of high-quality, randomised, controlled trials with cancer survivors have confirmed both aerobic and resistance exercise to be highly beneficial for improving body composition, quality of life, mental health functional capacity and reducing risk of cancer recurrence and development of other chronic diseases. Such benefits have ultimately been realised in reduced cancer mortality between 30 and 60 % in large cohort retrospective studies. Treatments for prostate cancer are increasingly effective with quite high 5- and 10-year survival rates; however, side effects of endocrine treatments in particular impact on quality of life and increased co-morbidities for the survivor. Testosterone deprivation while highly effective for controlling prostate cancer growth results in loss of muscle and bone, increased fat mass, increased incidence of metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and sudden death. Exercise has been demonstrated to be a very effective medicine for counteracting all of these treatment toxicities as well as improving mental health and quality of life. Exercise has been demonstrated to be safe and well tolerated by cancer patients. Current recommendation is to complete at least 150 min of aerobic exercise and two or more sessions of resistance training per week. More specific exercise prescription is required to address particular treatment toxicities such as bone loss or obesity. This paper is a review of key research from our group into exercise medicine for prostate cancer.