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Men’s cancer group sweats it out

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Men with prostate cancer have a new tool to help fight depression thanks to innovative research from ECU’s Health and Wellness Institute.

Men with prostate cancer are nearly twice as likely to develop depression as the general population, but a recent study has found regular group exercise can significantly reduce this risk.

Health and Wellness Institute Senior Research Fellow Prue Cormie said almost one in four men diagnosed with prostate cancer will suffer from depression.

“Given that men are notoriously low seekers of health care and in particular of mental health services, a targeted group based exercise program may be a very effective way of tailoring psychosocial support specifically to men with prostate cancer,” she said.

Study participant Lee Giampietro said since starting the exercise program had made him feel stronger and improved his mental wellbeing.

“Even though the study finished last year, a group of us still come down to ECU’s Mount Lawley gym to work out together. We really enjoy the camaraderie.”

The study involved 64 men who had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer and were receiving treatment.

Half of the men were involved in a supervised, group-based exercise program involving twice weekly sessions.

The other half maintained their normal care.

After three-months, the men in the exercise program reported 40% lower psychological distress levels than those in the control group.

The men in the exercise group also reported a five per cent increase in overall mental health and a four per cent improvement in in social functioning.

(Source: ECU)

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Posted On: 4 June, 2014
Modified On: 26 May, 2014

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