Exercise has many potential benefits in relation to cancer. Apart from primary prevention these include improvement of non-specific cancer-related symptoms, amelioration of symptoms and cardiovascular risk factors related to cancer treatment, and improvements in various quality-of-life-related factors. Increasing evidence also points towards improved cancer-free and overall survival in cancer patients who undertake regular exercise, findings which should encourage further research in this area. Obesity is known to be associated with a pro-inflammatory, pro-thrombotic humoral milieu, which may promote aggressiveness in prostate cancer through interactions with NK-cell mediated killing of circulating tumour cells, through platelet-circulating tumour cell interactions, and through alterations in adipokine and myokine profile among others. Physical activity reduces levels of systemic inflammatory mediators and so exercise may represent an accessible and cost-effective means of ameliorating the pro-inflammatory effects of obesity in cancer patients. This review outlines the evidence for the benefits of exercise in these patients, focussing on prostate cancer, and delineates current theories of the underlying biological mechanisms.
- Received March 11, 2016.
- Revision received June 3, 2016.
- Accepted June 27, 2016.
- Copyright ©2016, American Association for Cancer Research.