Lifting weight for prostate cancer

Oct 31 2011

Newcastle researchers are working on an international study to measure the health and wellbeing benefits of weight training for men living with prostate cancer.

The University of Newcastle and Canada’s University of Alberta have developed the Get PHITT (Prostate Health Improved Through Training) project to target treatment side-effects including fatigue, decreased physical functioning and muscle strength.

More than 3,000 Australian men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.

Professor Ron Plotnikoff from the University of Newcastle said the project aimed to explore whether resistance training at home was an effective tool for helping men to manage the disease.

“Prostate cancer treatment comes with a range of challenges and physical activity is often overlooked as a way of coping with these challenges,” Professor Plotnikoff said.

“We know that strength training helps men physically and emotionally but most programs are delivered in hospitals and gyms. We want to see if men can achieve the same benefits if they train at home.”

The three-month home-based program has been specifically designed for men with prostate cancer and involves a minimum of three 30 minute training sessions per week.

“This type of training improves strength, endurance and power – qualities that are particularly important for men diagnosed with prostate cancer,” Associate Professor Plotnikoff said.

“Men with prostate cancer are at increased risk of depression and anxiety and we will be closely measuring the participants’ mental health and sense of wellbeing.”

Participants will be provided with equipment and given initial instruction by an exercise specialist.

The research team is currently seeking 30 program participants who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer in the last one to three years.

Any men interested in participating in the study should contact Thomas Brookes on 02 4913 8640

Professor Plotnikoff researches in collaboration with HMRI’s Cardiovascular Health and Cancer Research Programs. HMRI is a partnership between the University, Hunter New England Health and the community.