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Men can cut prostate cancer risk by third with small step up in exercise


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Previous research has found that people could increase their cardiorespiratory fitness levels by up to 16 per cent a year.

More than 52,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the UK, while around 12,000 die each year – the equivalent of one every 45 minutes.

Simon Grieveson, the assistant director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, said that the new research “adds to previous studies showing possible links between exercise and a lower likelihood of getting prostate cancer”.

He said: “Regularly keeping fit and eating a balanced diet are good for every man’s general health and wellbeing. However, we don’t know definitively whether physical activity can lower a man’s risk of getting, or dying from, prostate cancer.

“The earlier you catch prostate cancer, the easier it is to treat it,” Mr Grieveson added.

Prostate cancer is more common in men over 50, black men over 45 and men with a family history of the condition.

It can often show no symptoms during its earlier stages, when it is also more treatable.

Symptoms tend only to occur when the tumour grows large enough to place pressure on the tube carrying urine from the bladder, and so causes frequent need to go to the toilet, the feeling of not emptying completely and a weak flow.

These symptoms are all also common among people with enlarged but benign prostates, such as the condition for which King Charles received treatment for this week.

Matt Lambert, the health information and promotion manager at World Cancer Research Fund, said: “It is widely known that having a higher level of cardiorespiratory fitness is important for our health and longevity, but it can also be protective against certain diseases.

He added: “This year’s cancer prevention action week, starting on Feb 19, is calling on the public to do short bursts of activity throughout their day to increase their physical activity levels and start feeling the benefits, like getting fitter and reducing their risk of cancer.”

The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, was conducted by several universities across Sweden and led by the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences GIH, Stockholm.

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