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Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2010 Sep;19(5):643-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2354.2009.01083.x. Epub 2009 Dec 17.

The effect of aerobic exercise on treatment-related acute toxicity in men receiving radical external beam radiotherapy for localised prostate cancer.

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Tayside Cancer Centre, Ninewells Hospital, and Health Informatics Centre, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK.


We retrospectively analysed acute radiation toxicity data for patients who had participated in a randomised controlled study in our centre in order to assess the impact of aerobic exercise on acute rectal and bladder morbidity during treatment. Data from 65 of 66 patients were analysed: 33 allocated into a control group (standard advice) and 33 into an exercise group (aerobic walking for 30 min at least three times per week) during 4 weeks of external beam radiotherapy; one patient in the exercise group withdrew after randomisation before starting radiotherapy. There was a trend towards less severe acute rectal toxicity in the exercise group with a statistically significant difference in mean toxicity scores over the 4 weeks of radiotherapy (P=0.004), with no significant difference in bladder toxicity scores between the two groups (P=0.123). The lack of an association for severity of bladder toxicity could be attributed to the confounding effect of lower urinary tract symptoms from their prostate cancer. Keeping active and being asked to adhere to a well-defined exercise schedule appears to reduce the severity of rectal toxicity during radiotherapy to the prostate.

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