In our Ask the Experts series, we’ll put a common question to one of the Grace Prostate Cancer Centre’s experts, and they’ll offer up an honest, candid response. From concerns about the prostate and prostate cancer, to queries regarding prostate cancer surgery or how to improve your chances of survival, you’ll find the answer here.
Today, we ask Continence Nurse Judy Kelly for her advice on a subject that’s top of mind for prostate cancer patients.
How can I improve my chances of surviving prostate cancer? Is there anything I can change with my diet or lifestyle?
It’s impossible to give specific advice without knowing what sort of treatment this man has or hasn’t had, but here’s what I’d suggest.
A combination of resistence and aerobic exercise for 3 – 5 hours / week has been demonstated to significantly improve survivorship following diagnosis for prostate cancer. It is called ‘exercise medicine’ because it’s a powerful tool for men with prostate cancer.
If you’re interested in reading statistics there is an excellent study by Kenfield et al. in the “Journal of Clincial Oncology 2011”. The statistics in this study will convince the most dedicated couch potato to get up and get moving!
Exercise is hugely benefical following treatment for prostate cancer. Not only with improved survivorship but improved muscle tone (enhances feelings of masculinity) and improved quality of life and fatigue reduction.
You could also see a reduction in psychological and emotional stress, depression and anxiety (which most men suffer from to some degree following diagnosis) will be made more manageable.
Combining exercise medicine with an diet rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants is of enormous benefit.
A word of caution though…check with your doctor first. If you have had treatment for prostate cancer, you will almost certainly have to gradually build your exercise tolerance. Exercise within the limits of your physical ability. If you have had surgery, it may be 6 weeks before you can commence anything strenuous but once you are cleared to do so, get into it!
Don’t hesitate to seek advice from a dietician and exercise physiologist to achieve the best results.
See previous Ask the Expert question and answer posts: