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Fast Walking Slows Prostate Cancer

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Prostate cancer is common in older men. Usually slow growing, it often bears watching rather than aggressive surgical or chemotherapy treatment.

The progression rate of prostate cancer can be estimated fairly accurately using the Gleason Score, based on cellular characteristics of the cancer cells seen on tissue obtained by needle biopsy at the time of first diagnosis.

Prostate cancer can be slowed by a person’s walking speed during exercise, after a diagnosis is made. 

This benefit of brisk walking was demonstrated in a five year study of 1,455 patients who had localized prostate cancer. Results were recently published in Cancer Research. Walking at a faster pace for 3 hours a week reduced the risk of prostate cancer progression by 57% compared to those who walked more slowly for 3 hours per week. 

Brisk walking reduces the blood levels of two specific chemical compounds (insulin-like growth factor-1 and interlukin-6) that have been shown to be responsible for rapid growth and progression of prostate cancer.

This is good news. Older men can “outrun” localized prostate cancer by walking briskly at least 3 hours a week. 

“You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.” (Deuteronomy 5:33, NKJV)

Ellen G. White, a 19th century health reformer, could well have been describing this benefit of exercise when she wrote, “All languor is gone, for the invigorating air with brisk exercise has quickened the sluggish blood, and sent it bounding through the veins, vitalizing the entire system.” (The Health Reformer, January 1, 1873)

Author

Dr. Adams is a graduate of Loma Linda University School of Medicine. His MPH is from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Adams is retired from the position of Medical Director of Tarrant County Public Health in Fort Worth, Texas. He is the developer of the Best Weigh nutrition and weight loss program. He is also the author of the Handbook of Health Evangelism and Jesus Was Thin: So You Can Be Thin Too.