Prostate cancer: Could exercise help stop the disease from spreading?

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK.

It usually develops slowly, so signs and symptoms  may not appear for many years.

If the cancer is detected at an early stage and is not causing symptoms, treatment may not be immediately necessary.

Instead, the cancer may just be monitored in case there is a risk it may spread.

Treatment can have significant side effects, including erectile dysfunction and needing to use the toilet more urgently or more often.

For this reason, some men choose to delay treatment until there’s a risk the cancer might spread, according to the NHS.

Some cases are only diagnosed at a later stage, when the cancer has already spread.


When prostate cancer is advanced, it is not possible to be cured, so treatment works to manage symptoms.

Prostate cancer can spread to any part of the body, but it most commonly spreads to the bones and lymph nodes.

According to Prostate Cancer UK, there is a possibility exercise may help prevent prostate cancer spreading to the bone.

The cancer charity has funded a research project into finding new ways to stop cancer spreading to the bones.

Through this, researchers at the University of Sheffield are working to understand the effect of exercise on preventing prostate cancer spreading to the bone.

“There is a good reason for doing this: we know that exercise promotes bone formation, while cancer spread to the bone can cause damage and weaken bones,” said Prostate Cancer UK.

“Dr Ning Wang, who is leading the project, hopes that promoting new bone cell growth can in turn prevent cancer cells spreading into the bone.”

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If the researchers see an effect, they will compare different forms of exercise to try to establish a clear link between exercise and prevention of prostate cancer spread.

This could then go on to be tested in men with the disease.

“When prostate cancer spreads it will more often than not go to the bones. This can be painful and incredibly hard to treat,” said Dr Wang.

“We know that exercise benefits bone health, which we think could have the potential to prevent cancer cells from setting up camp in the bones.”

“There’s no denying that exercise is good for us but it could prove to be especially beneficial for the thousands of men diagnosed with prostate cancer every year.”

Daily Express :: Health Feed