Exercise as Medicine for Cancer

No matter how healthy we are, cancer lingers as a potential threat to our futures. The bad news is that we can’t completely eliminate the risk of developing cancer, but the good news is that we can significantly reduce the risk through the lifestyle choices we make.


For a surprisingly wide variety of cancers, exercise is a proven way to lower our risk. Not only can exercise reduce the risk of initially developing cancer but it can even help you fight cancer, including advanced prostate cancer.


Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men (with the most common being skin cancer). Although 60 percent of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65, younger men face risk too because prostate cancer can take years before it is diagnosed.


Recent research suggests exercise like a single session of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) can suppress tumor growth. Bloodwork was collected and analyzed immediately before, immediately after and 30 minutes after patients performed a 34 minute HIIT cycling session. The analysis showed that after exercising, myokine (the protein linked to tumor suppression) production was higher than before exercise. According to the researcher’s writings on these findings (Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases), the anti-cancer myokines suppressed cancer cell growth by around 17 percent.


Seventeen percent might not sound like a big deal for those that are not suffering from cancer but for those that are battling advanced prostate cancer, this is a huge deal. Every percentage counts. The study provides enough evidence to recommend that patients with prostate cancer, and likely anyone with any type of cancer, perform exercise most days to maintain an environment within their own body which suppresses cancer cell growth.




Author: Marilyn Alvarado, Wellness Director MRMC Wellness and Rehabilitation
Exercise as Medicine for Cancer