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Exercise doesn’t have to be nuts!

Some alarming stats….

1. 1 in 6 Australian men will be diagnosed with Prostate cancer in their lifetime. 2. Prostate Cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Australian men. 3. The Australian Institute of Health and Wellness predict that by 2040, 372000 Australian men will be living with Prostate Cancer, representing the greatest number of men and women diagnosed with any form of cancer. The truth is, Prostate Cancer is rapidly becoming one of Australia’s most highly prevalent forms of Cancer. But what exactly is it? What is Prostate Cancer?

The Prostate is a walnut-sized gland located just below the bladder. The prostate glands most important function is the production and secretion of fluid that makes up approximately 70% of seminal volume.

Prostate Cancer arises when abnormal cells in prostate gland develop in an uncontrolled way, leading to the formation of a tumor. Prostate cancer is commonly characterised as either localised or advanced. In early (localised) prostate cancer, the cancer has developed but is present only within the prostate region. Advanced prostate cancer is classified by the presence of cancer in glands outside of and proximal to the prostate, or metastatic in which it has spread to other regions of the body. Early complications rarely cause symptoms, however it is important to keep an eye out for some indicators of advanced prostate cancer. Symptoms of prostate cancer include frequent urination, blood present in urine or semen, pain when urinating or weakness of the legs or feet. It is important you consult with your general practitioner if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Why exercise is safe and recommended “Stay in bed, take it easy, relax, put your feet up.” Too often this is the advice that people give to men diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. Although it is important to listen to your body, research indicates that exercise plays an incredibly crucial role during the treatment process, as well as aiding recovery post treatment. Exercise has been shown to assist in reducing the number and severity of treatment-related side effects. These may include poor sleep, fatigue, muscle loss, reduced bone mineral density, and anxiety. What sort of exercise? Okay I get it, exercise is good. But where do I start? Both aerobic based and resistance (strength based) exercise is recommended and safe for men diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. Aerobic type exercise may include going for a walk with a mate or kicking the football around. Due to bone-density loss occasionally presenting after treatment, it is important to incorporate bone loading exercises in order to stunt or slow the rate of BMD loss. An initial example of this is a ‘heel drop’. As seen in the clip, goal of the exercise is to rise on to the ball of your foot, and forcefully drop the heel back to the ground – loading the bones of lower leg. (Seen Below)

Progression from the heel drop to a level 2 bone loading exercise is the ‘stomp step-up’. This exercise is performed similar a regular step up, however the aim of this exercise is to exaggerate the step by stomping the support leg, then stepping up (Seen Below).

How can Exercise Physiologists help… Whether or not exercise supervision is recommended depends on the individuals exercise history and severity. Booking in with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist can help to create an appropriate exercise program, monitor symptoms and break down potential barriers to exercise, provide education on exercise selection, and implement behaviour change methods. The fact of the matter is, there are 220,000 Australian men living with Prostate Cancer, many dealing with side effects, it’s time to take action. There are several ways you can do your part to stop men dying too young: 1. Whether it's patchy, itchy, or epic….Grow a Mo this November and help raise awareness and funds for the men diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.

2. Provide education on the many benefits that exercise during and post treatment. We at EHA work with those pre, post or during the treatment of prostate and other cancers. This year we are doing our bit and supporting Movember by moving! If you are interested in donating to a great cause you can check out our team page at:

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