Date of this Version
Context: Prostate cancer patients, especially those on androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), experience many symptoms that make it difficult to maintain their independence and quality of life. Because ADT acts by means of reducing testosterone production, exercise may offset many of the ADT side effects and those of the cancer itself.
Objectives: This systematic review of the literature evaluates whether exercise could reduce symptoms and improve quality of life for prostate cancer patients.
Methods: Using relevant databases and key words, 12 training studies were found meeting the inclusion and exclusion criteria.
Results: Grade A level evidence was observed for the benefits of exercise in improving muscular endurance, aerobic endurance, and overall quality of life, as well as reducing fatigue in prostate cancer patients. Grade B evidence also suggested that exercise may improve prostate cancer patients’ muscle mass, muscular strength, functional performance (walking and sit to stand speed), as well as health-related, social and physical quality of life. These effects appeared greater for group—rather than home-based—exercise, especially if these programs included resistance training.
Conclusion: It is recommended that most prostate cancer patients be encouraged to exercise regularly by their clinicians and significant others. Where possible, this exercise should be group-based and include some resistance training. Future research in this area should directly compare group- and home-based, as well as resistance, aerobic, and combined resistance and aerobic training to better elucidate the most effective forms of exercise for this population and what factors affect initiation and adherence to such programs.
This document has been peer reviewed.