According to a new study on men undergoing active surveillance for prostate cancer, regular exercise under proper supervision can reduce anxiety. Many people choose this as an alternative when they do not want to undergo immediate treatment for the condition due to various reasons.
Exercise Can Reduce Anxiety In Men Undergoing Prostate Cancer
Experts say that this worked best on patients diagnosed with low-grade prostate cancer. The high-intensity interval training that involves working out intensely in specific intervals yielded the best results, according to the study. There is less risk when prostate cancer is localized, and treatment can be postponed under proper supervision.
Many patients opt for active surveillance as this avoids immediate treatment and the various side effects that come with cancer treatment. However, the growth of the cancer is monitored thoroughly in this phase with imaging tests and multiple biopsy tests along with prostate exams. In this way, the treatment is avoided as long as the cancer is not growing at a rapid pace.
As this phase is very difficult to handle, many patients suffer from anxiety and other issues while monitoring the growth of cancer. In this phase, exercise can help to reduce anxiety and also provide various health benefits, according to experts.
Many patients opt for unnecessary treatment like radiation even in the early stages due to this anxiety. However, there is no need for such treatments in many cases when the situation is regularly monitored by experts.
The HIIT training was provided to participants who were diagnosed with early-stage low-grade prostate cancer. It was evident that the group that exercised regularly for a few weeks showed a significant reduction in anxiety and other issues when compared to the other group. Apart from that, the group that exercised during the active surveillance period also showed good improvement in cardiovascular fitness. Experts also noticed a good reduction in prostate-specific antigen in such patients during the study.
Researchers feel that regular exercise often leads to improvement in hormonal levels, which can improve mood and also build confidence in the individual. Along with that, exercise also gets rid of lethargy, and the patient feels energetic. Not only that, but exercise also impacts body weight in a positive way that can significantly impact the progression of various diseases in the body, including cancer.
In many cases, active surveillance can continue for many years, and patients often manage to avoid cancer treatment with proper management in the early stages. However, some patients switch to regular treatment for cancer due to stress and anxiety. This can be clearly avoided with regular exercise and proper monitoring of the growth of cancer in the body. When unnecessary treatment is avoided, various side effects can also be avoided that usually come with cancer treatment.
Earlier studies have indicated that regular exercise can also help patients undergoing conventional treatment for cancer. Even though this does not do any miracles, it can slow down the progression of cancer to some extent and build the self-esteem of the patient. Apart from that, the patients will be able to cope with the side effects better with regular exercise as they will have the strength to handle the medication.
Researchers feel that the study should be expanded further, and a large group of participants need to be included to get complete results. In this way, several people who are in the active surveillance phase will benefit a lot by practicing simple exercises on a regular basis. The advantage of this regime is that it can be done at home without any equipment. However, proper supervision is needed in the initial stages to avoid complications.