Did you know that exercise can provide health benefits for men with prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among males, effecting 1 in 6 Australian men. The risk of developing prostate cancer significantly increases from age 50 and those who have inherited family history. Possible side effects from various treatments depend on the extent of the surgery, medication dosage and adjunct therapy. Potential side effects include urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, muscle and bone wastage, depression and anxiety, increased body fat and further risk of other chronic disease.
Exercise plays an important role in both treatment and recovery from prostate cancer. Physical activity can help in reducing the number and severity of treatment related side effects, improving or maintaining function, reduced risk of reoccurrence and further development of other chronic disease.
What kind of exercise should I do after prostate cancer treatment?
After seeking doctor’s approval and it is safe to exercise, it is recommended that adults build up to or maintain 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week. Exercise should include both aerobic and resistance-based exercise, such as walking, swimming, resistance bands or free weights.
Exercising before and after prostate cancer treatment common myths:
1. Exercise will cause worsening of symptoms (e.g. fatigue, pain, nausea)
Regular exercise helps to prevent and reduce symptoms associated with prostate cancer and treatment types. In contrast, inactivity can be related to increased severity and onset of side effects.
2. I should avoid exercise during treatment periods
Whilst you should not exercise on treatment days, exercise is recommended in the days after a treatment cycle. Preparing an exercise program for the ‘bad days’ when the symptoms have increased can help to maintain an exercise routine and prevent functional decline associated with treatment.
3. I only need to exercise after surgery
Exercise can help you better tolerate and recover from cancer related treatments that include surgery, chemotherapy and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Exercise prior to surgery aims to help decrease post-treatment recovery duration by improving immune function, increased pelvic floor strength, reduced fat mass, and many more benefits.
Why see an Exercise Physiologist?
As an Exercise Physiologist we understand that everyone is different, an individualised approach needs to be taken to meet specific needs, treatments and symptoms. Here at SCREP we can help you to understand the nature of your condition, provide education and design a program to suit your requirements. We can also help guide you on both the good days and the bad to get you back into exercise and a healthy lifestyle.