I caught the title of an article on prostate cancer out of the corner of my eye today and immediately drew the wrong conclusion. The article, “Exercise may lead to faster prostate tumor growth” drew an immediate reaction from me since I exercise daily. I started weighing the quality of my life with and without exercise and balancing that against a quicker death should I be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Read the whole article Ed!! As I read on I learned that this test was in mice and that indeed, those that exercised daily experienced tumor growth almost twice of those that were sedentary. The conclusion was that due to increased blood flow to the tumor (and everything else), the tumor was able to grow quicker.
Still a bit up in arms, I read on. Where they were headed with this presumably bad news was in the direction of potential good news. The fact that exercise seemed to increase blood flow to prostate cancer tumors (and potentially other types of cancer as well), meant that exercise might very well deliver blood with anti cancer drugs more quickly and potently. In fact, exercise might be the key to stopping the growth of a tumor in it’s tracks.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, but has a very good survival rate if caught early. That’s why all of us old guys get PSA tests annually. Some of you younger guys ought to consider using that as a good example and doing the same.
The other good news about prostate cancer caught at an early stage and low grade is that life insurance, a year or so out from the end of treatment, is generally available at standard or better rates. This is kind of a luxury call for a cancer survivor as most of them give some thought to the whole mortality issue after the experience, but with many kinds of cancer your chances of acquiring life insurance at affordable rates for the foreseeable future is slim to none.
Bottom line. Keep exercising. Only the mice are dying quicker from it and that is only because they didn’t treat the cancer. In the next round of tests they will be treating the cancer to see if the same exercise speeds up elimination of the tumor.