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Exercise drops risk of prostate cancer

September 30, 2009 12:16:31 AM PDT
A new study suggests that men who exercise even moderately are two-thirds less likely to develop prostate cancer when compared to men who are sedentary. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.

According to Reuters, researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina examined 190 men. They found that those who exercised regularly were less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Researchers also discovered that when it came to the men who did get diagnosed with the disease, exercise helped them battle it. Those who just walked only one hour a week were less likely to have an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

There are several reasons as to why exercise may help in the fight against prostate cancer. Exercise is known to lower levels of testosterone and other hormones that can fuel tumor growth. Exercise also helps boost the immune system.

Still, researchers are cautious about their findings.

"It is impossible to state that exercise alone was responsible for the benefits we observed because participants who exercised might also have engaged in other behaviors linked to better health," said Dr. Jodi A. Antonelli in a statement.

The findings appear in the Journal of Urology.

According to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, there are several risk factors associated with prostate cancer. Those include advanced age, family history and race.

Prostate cancer is more common in some racial and ethnic groups but it's not known why.

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