Cancer Prevention Month: How Physical Activity Can Reduce Your Risk of Prostate Cancer
One of the most important health issues facing men is prostate cancer, the second most common cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer death in men. Every November men grow mustaches for Movember or join in No-Shave November to increase awareness of prostate cancer. Take charge of your health this month, and read on to learn all about prostate cancer.
The Facts About Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer affects many men every year, although specific groups of men are much more likely to be diagnosed:
- Nearly 175,000 prostate cancer diagnoses occur each year in in the U.S.
- Around two-thirds of prostate cancer diagnoses occur to men over 65.
- The average age of diagnosis is 66.
- Prostate cancer rarely occurs to men under 40.
- Black men are 60 percent more likely to get prostate cancer than white men.
The statistics around prostate cancer aren't entirely discouraging. It has one of the best outlooks of any cancer diagnosis:
- 90 percent of prostate cancers are found in the local or regional stages.
- The 5-year survival rate of men with local or regional prostate cancers is nearly 100 percent.
- The 5-year survival rate of men with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is 30 percent.
- The death rate of prostate cancer has dropped by over half in the past 25 years.
- One man in 9 will get prostate cancer, but only one in 39 will die of it.
- Risk increases with age, but the disease becomes less aggressive as well.
How Exercise Can Reduce Your Prostate Cancer Risk
Many risk factors for prostate cancer are genetic, involving family history; others are based on age, region, and ethnicity. Lifestyle changes, however, have an impact on your likelihood of developing prostate cancer:
- Studies have shown that overweight and obese men may have a higher likelihood of developing advanced prostate cancer, as well as increased likelihood of fatal outcomes.
- Some studies have indicated that diets high in fat, as well as high in dairy products and calcium, may increase your prostate cancer risk.
- Studies have shown that men who exercise regularly may have a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
Doctors are still studying the link between exercise and reduced prostate cancer risk, but this is consistent across many cancers. Maintaining a healthy weight is routinely indicated to reduce cancer risk, and prostate cancer is no exception. In fact, it's especially important, as increased aggressiveness of prostate cancer is more likely in overweight or obese men. Increased weight can also be a factor in diabetes; insulin resistance has been linked to increased risk of prostate cancer, as is the inflammation caused by diabetes.
How frequently should you exercise, then? The American College of Sports Medicine recommends cardio exercise 3 to 5 days a week. The minimum amount of exercise recommended by the American Heart Association is 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise. Just 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week would reach this fitness goal! This is a great guideline for maintaining a healthy weight and staying active, but you should consult your doctor or other medical professional before starting a new fitness regimen.
Exercise for Men with Prostate Cancer
You may not immediately think about exercise as a component of a cancer treatment plan, but it can be particularly beneficial for men with prostate cancer. Aside from helping manage your weight, regular physical activity can counteract the detrimental effects of some prostate cancer treatments. Treatment methods like androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) can lower muscle mass and bone density, sometimes causing osteoporosis, a typically rare condition in men. Regular exercise can increase muscle mass and bone density. Many men with prostate cancer have exercise regimens that include:
- Cardio exercises: walking, jogging, swimming.
- Weight-bearing and resistance exercises: walking, stair-climbing, and weight training.
- Strength training: especially exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor.
Mountain Ice to Help You Stay Active Longer
If you're trying to maintain a healthy weight to reduce your cancer risk or exercising to improve your cancer outcome, Mountain Ice is here to help you move and feel better! No matter what your activity level is, we've got a Mountain Ice variety that will help relieve your aches and pains and let you enjoy being active:
- Pain Relief Gel: The perfect blend of rich ingredients formulated to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and promote better nerve and joint healing.
- Sports Recovery Gel: Our unique formula relieves pain, reduces swelling, prevents muscle spasms, and speeds up recovery from exertion, while enhancing performance and longevity.