Can Exercise Reduce The Risk Of Prostate Cancer?

According to a new study, the answer may depend on your race, says robotic prostate surgeon, David Samadi, MD

Feb 13, 2013, 17:27 ET from

NEW YORK, Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Regular exercisers could be reducing their risk of prostate cancer by as much as 53 percent, though research suggests the benefit may only apply to white men. In polling the exercise habits of 307 men (164 Caucasian and 143 African American) undergoing prostate biopsies, researchers found an association between increased activity level in white men and reduced prostate cancer diagnosis. The same benefits were not seen among African American participants. The findings are reported in this week's online edition of the journal Cancer   (


Dr. David Samadi, SMART (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique) robotic prostatectomy innovator, encourages a more targeted exploration of prostate cancer prevention strategies. "Exercise and diet play a role in warding off disease, but in light of genetic differences between races, more targeted prostate cancer prevention research is certainly warranted," he said. "We tailor prostate cancer treatment to the individual and we should be doing the same in prevention education."

In this particular study, race appears to remain a strong factor in prostate cancer risk. The African American participants did not achieve the same prostate cancer prevention benefits of exercise as their white counterparts, though the study did not uncover why. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African American men are at highest risk for both developing and dying of prostate cancer

Dr. Samadi, a staunch prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test supporter, recommends that African American men begin annual screenings by age 45, roughly five years earlier than men outside of the key risk categories. African American men with a family history of prostate cancer are encouraged to start even earlier.

"Conditions such as physical fitness level and diet are largely controllable and they continue to hold their weight in disease prevention research. We simply need a better handle on the right mix of prostate cancer prevention strategies for men of varying ages and races," stressed Dr. Samadi. For purposes of this study, exercise of more than nine hours per week was considered a moderate to high activity level. The study did not factor in diet or other lifestyle conditions that could impact the benefits of exercise.

Dr. Samadi, Vice Chairman, Department of Urology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery, where he has performed more than 4,500 successful SMART robotic prostatectomy procedures to date.

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