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Many men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are put on prostate hormone therapy to help them battle the disease.
And, while the term “hormone therapy” may make you think that the medication you’re taking is adding a hormone to your body, the truth is that it’s there to block a hormone — specifically testosterone.
That’s because even though testosterone is a natural male hormone, it can fuel certain prostate cancer cells, accelerating their growth.
By starving them of this fuel, the therapy can help slow their growth or even cause cancer cell death.
While there’s no doubt that this can help save your life, there is a downside.
Because the medication is depriving you of a hormone your body otherwise needs, it can also result in some serious side effects, including a significantly increased risk of heart problems.
Yup, you could be simply trading in your cancer for heart disease. Not exactly what you signed up for, right?
Luckily, there is good news…
According to a new study by researchers from Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the University of East Anglia, there is a simple way to boost your heart health and reduce your risk of the issues caused by prostate hormone therapy…
Just twice a week
Their study followed 50 patients due to start prostate hormone therapy (also known as androgen deprivation therapy or ADT).
For the study, half of the participants took part in two supervised exercise sessions a week for three months while the other half continued with their regular routine.
After three months, the researches assessed both groups’ heart health.
And, the findings, which have now been published in the British Journal of Urology International (BJUI), clearly show that the simple three month prescription for short term exercise actually prevented negative changes in cardiopulmonary fitness and fatigue for those taking part in the trial.
That’s right, exercising just two times a week is the key to heart health during prostate hormone therapy.
“Structured exercise programs have much to offer people living with common cancers. Hormone treatments for prostate cancer are known to have undesirable side-effects, which increase a man’s susceptibility to cardiovascular disease,” said Professor John Saxton, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, when asked about the results of the study. “This research shows that some of the harmful side-effects of hormone therapy are reduced in men who begin to exercise regularly around the same time that these drugs are prescribed.”
Aerobic exercise plus weights
If you’re living with prostate cancer and have been prescribed androgen deprivation therapy, adding an exercise program to your weekly routine could help you keep your heart healthy.
The routine that worked for the patients in the study included both aerobic exercise plus resistance training.
For example, you could walk on the treadmill, swim, or hike to boost your aerobic fitness and use weight machines, free weights or resistance bands to increase your muscle strength.
The key to any exercise program is to pick what works for you and stick to it.
Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!
- Hormone therapy for prostate cancer — Mayo Clinic
- Reducing the side-effects of prostate hormone therapy with exercise — EurekAlert