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Exercise May Cut Worry of Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer

Supervised high-intensity interval training program tied to reductions in anxiety, fear of progression, hormonal symptoms, stress, fatigue

MONDAY, March 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) — High-intensity interval training may provide mental and physical health benefits for men on active surveillance for initial management of low-grade prostate cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in The Journal of Urology.

Dong-Woo Kang, from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues examined the effects of 12 weeks of high-intensity interval training versus usual care in 52 patients with prostate cancer on active surveillance. Patient-reported outcomes included prostate cancer-specific anxiety, fear of cancer progression, prostate cancer symptoms, quality of life, and psychological health outcomes (e.g., fatigue, stress, and self-esteem).

Adherence to high-intensity interval training was 96 percent. The researchers found that high-intensity interval training significantly improved total prostate cancer-specific anxiety (adjusted between-group mean difference, −2.7), as well as the fear of progression subscale, hormonal symptoms, perceived stress, fatigue, and self-esteem.

“Previous reports have suggested that exercise might help to manage anxiety in other cancer patient groups but our study is the first to show improvement in anxiety and fear of cancer progression experienced by men who opt for active surveillance,” a coauthor said in a statement. “The researchers call for larger studies to confirm their findings and to demonstrate the longer-term physical and mental health benefits of exercise for this growing group of patients.”

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