The lead researcher on Australia’s first large-scale study to follow men with prostate cancer for five years from their diagnosis has urged Queensland men to fight prostate cancer with physical activity.
Professor Suzanne Chambers, lead researcher on the ProsCan project for Cancer Council Queensland, said men affected by prostate cancer could benefit significantly from a healthy diet and lifestyle.
"Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Queensland men and has significant impact on men’s health," Prof Chambers said.
"What we also know though is that as this disease mostly affects older men, they are often at the same time facing other chronic illness, such as hypertension and heart disease, which further compromise their quality of life.
"Much of this is related to being overweight and having an inactive lifestyle."
The number of new prostate cancer cases diagnosed each year over the past five years in Queensland has increased from 2,674 cases in 2003 to 3,680 cases diagnosed in 2007.
"As the number of men with prostate cancer increases in our community we need to be thinking about ways to help then enhance their quality of life," Prof Chambers said.
"The good news is that as well as helping with overall wellness, there is evidence to suggest that higher levels of physical activity and strength may also enhance men’s ability to manage the side effects of prostate cancer treatment."
Prof Chambers is currently leading a study following men with prostate cancer for five years to document their patterns of care and better understand the impacts of the cancer on their health and quality of life.
"Prostate cancer is a major issue in men’s health, with one in eight Queensland men at risk of developing prostate cancer in their lifetime," she said.
"Our research will help to guide the development of world-leading supportive care interventions to help improve quality of life and potentially survival."
September is prostate cancer awareness month.
(Source: Cancer Council Queensland)