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Exercising for Prostate Cancer: Before, During, and After Diagnosis – Part II

Read Part I of Exercising for Prostate Cancer – Before, During, and After Diagnosis.

Integrating exercise into treatment

Finally, there is an excellent study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, which is part of our government’s National Institutes of Health, about a new ongoing trial entitled: “Intense Exercise for Survival among Men with Metastatic Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer (INTERVAL-GAP4): a multicentre, randomised, controlled phase III study protocol.”

As is usual for NIH studies, it’s a looong article, but in summary, it discusses how exercise is becoming an active component for treatment in oncology. Exercise has been shown to have a wide range of benefits for all types of advanced prostate cancer patients — this is particularly true in my case. It has the potential to delay disease progression and extend survival rates.3

INTERVAL-GAP4 (GAP4 Intense Exercise for Survival among Men with Metastatic Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer) will be the first randomized controlled trial to extensively study whether supervised aerobic and resistance exercise increases overall survival among men with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) compared to those participating in self-directed physical activity.3

Get moving for research

If you’re not a regular exerciser, please go to the last sentence of the study (see immediately above) to look at the comment on supervised exercises versus self-directed activity. For the vast majority of people, in particular, if you don’t do much if any exercising now, you need supervised exercise; if for no other reason than to get you to do it. (My wife, who obviously does not have PCa, and who has not been an exerciser to any degree like her crazy husband, joined a gym about 6 months ago and loves it.)

If you have a desire to be part of this study (in the US it is only being done in Colorado and the 3 US West Coast states), you must have mCRPC, and a list of facilities that are or will be part of this study can be found on the government clinical trial website.

Remember the above study is being done for the worst of the worst prostate cancer, mCRPC, for which it is strongly believed it will be a great aid for those with it. If it’s that good for the worst form of PCa, imagine how good it is for those of us with a lesser form of PCa.

You have to push yourself sometimes

For virtually all of us, it’s tough to kick ourselves in the butt to do it many days. When I was in my 20’s and running most days, I read a quote by a top distance runner I followed. I’m not sure which one today, but I think it was Marty Liquori, the 3rd guy to break 4 minutes in the mile in high school. He became a top miler, but his specialty was 5,000 meters (3.1 miles). Anyhow the comment I read was about 25% of the time he didn’t want to go out and run, but he forced himself to do it. I sure had empathy with that as there are days I don’t want to get up and go out. But I do it as I know one day off leads to two and then three and finally, we just say the heck with it.

Finding the right time to exercise

The big question is when to exercise. I have found getting up early in the morning and getting out there is the best for me. There are always things that seem to pop up throughout the day that won’t allow me to exercise, even when I’m retired! And to do that, I watch very little TV and go to bed relatively early. I haven’t found a TV program yet that comes close to giving me the health benefits of exercise.

If you can find a partner to exercise with you, it’s tremendously helpful. When the temperature is in the 20’s, I can think of a hundred reasons to go back to sleep. But knowing I have to meet my riding partner, I get up and get going. This September will be 25 years we’ve been riding in the morning together. When we were both working, we left our respective houses at 5 AM, but now that we’re retired, we have the luxury of starting at 6:15 AM. And I have to say…when I’m done, I’m so happy I did it.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Intense Exercise for Survival among Men with Metastatic Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer (INTERVAL-GAP4): a multicentre, randomised, controlled phase III study protocol. BMJ Open. Accessed on June 4, 2019. From