HealthDay News — Men who are physically active after a cancer diagnosis have significantly improved survival, according to a study published in Journal of Physical Activity & Health.

I-Min Lee, MBBS, ScD, MPH, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues examined the association between exercise after a cancer diagnosis and mortality risk in 1,021 men (mean age, 71.3 years) diagnosed with cancers other than nonmelanoma skin cancers.

The men reported their physical activities in 1988, a median of six years after their cancer diagnosis, and again in 1993. As of 2008, the researchers found that 777 men had died (337 from cancer and 190 from cardiovascular disease).

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After controlling for multiple variables, the risk of all-cause mortality was significantly lower with increasing physical activity (relative risk, 0.52 for ≥12,600 kJ/week versus <2,100 kJ/week). The risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease was also significantly lower with increasing physical activity (P-trend=0.01 and 0.002, respectively).

“Engaging in physical activity after cancer diagnosis is associated with better survival among men,” Lee and colleagues conclude.


  1. Lee I et al. J Phys Act Health. 2014;11:85-90.