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It might be time to dust off those running shoes as a recent study coming from Harvard University reports that physical activity has a significant influence over a wide range of biological processes, including anti-inflammatory and insulin pathways, thus leading to a lower risk of prostate cancer.
“In addition to other well-known health benefits of a physically active lifestyle, this study emphasizes that prostate cancer prevention may be another important reason for men to move more and be active”, noted lead author Claire Pernar, a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Chan School.
Activities include bicycling, swimming, playing sports and even heavy outdoor work.
Appearing in the monthly publication of European Urology, the article details how data from almost 50.000 men with age between 40 and 75 were analyzed. These were participants in a program called The Health Professionals Follow-up Study that took place from 1986 to 2012. It showed that men that engaged in frequent physical activity had a 30% lower risk of developing advanced prostate cancer and 25% lower risk of developing lethal prostate.
Furthermore, researchers examined a common molecular alteration in prostate tumors called TMPRSS2:ERG. This represents a gene fusion that occurs in about 50% of patients and is now associated with prostate cancers.
Lorelei Mucci, associate professor of epidemiology and co-author mentioned that: “Our results on physical activity and TMPRSS2:ERG highlight a concept of ‘precision prevention,’ or the idea that patients can take specific actions to reduce the risk of certain cancers, and show the diversity that seems to exist among the possible causes of prostate cancer. Prostate cancers that contain TMPRSS2:ERG seem to be sensitive to insulin, growth factors, and other metabolic factors, which may help explain the link between physical activity and this prostate cancer subtype”.
Exercising has now been determined to reduce the chance of developing a number of cancers: colon, breast, endometrial, just to name a few. It’s time to stop being a couch potato and move yourself from under the shadow of this terrible disease.