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Exercise can reduce the side effects of prostate cancer treatments

Exercise can reduce the side effects of prostate cancer treatments

Men who choose androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for their advanced prostate cancer can avoid possible side effects with short-term exercise, suggests a study published in January 2020 in BJU International.

Common side effects of ADT include weight gain, loss of muscle mass, lower cardio fitness, fatigue, and a drop in quality of life. These often occur within three months after treatment begins. In the study, researchers recruited 50 men with prostate cancer who began ADT. Half did two supervised exercise sessions per week for three months. The hourlong workouts included both aerobic and resistance exercises. The group then continued the workouts on their own for another three months.

After the initial three months, the men in the exercise group showed significant improvements in common ADT side effects compared with those in the control group, who did not participate in the exercise program. Most of the exercise benefits were visible at the six-month mark, too, including a lower risk of heart disease and a higher quality of life. This is especially important since side effects sometimes continue beyond the first three months, according to the researchers.

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