Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 987–997 | Cite as

A systematic review of physical activity in prostate cancer survivors: outcomes, prevalence, and determinants

  • Lene ThorsenEmail author
  • Kerry S. Courneya
  • Clare Stevinson
  • Sophie D. Fosså
Review Article



We reviewed physical activity (PA) studies in prostate cancer (PC) survivors investigating (a) the effects of PA on health outcomes, (b) the prevalence of PA, and (c) the determinants of PA.

Materials and methods

A systematic search of the literature identified nine studies on the outcomes of PA, six studies on the prevalence of PA, and four studies on the determinants of PA in PC survivors.


Results showed promising effects of PA on muscular fitness, physical functioning, fatigue, and health-related quality of life. The prevalence of PA varied widely from <30% to >70%, depending on the type of measure used. PA in PC survivors was predicted by motivational variables such as intentions, perceived behavioral control, and subjective norms.


Although preliminary research is promising, there remains a significant amount of research to be done on the role of PA in PC survivors. Moreover, future research would benefit from larger samples using randomized controlled trial methodology.


Physical activity Prostate cancer survivors Systematic review 



This work has been supported by grants from the Rehabilitation and Recreation unit (Trivselsanlegget) at Rikshospitalet-Radiumhospitalet Medical Centre. Kerry S. Courneya is supported by the Canada Research Chairs Program.


  1. 1.
    Kruger J (2007) Prevalence of regular physical activity among adults—United States, 2001 and 2005. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 56:1209–1212Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anderson LA, Ballew CC, Berryman JW, Brawley LR, Brown DR, Caplan LS, Coates RJ, Crespo CJ, DiPietro L, Dishman RK, Engelgau MM, Ettinger WH, Freedman DS, Fridinger F, Heath GW, Holmes WA, Howze EH, Kann LK, King AC, Kohl HW, Koplan JP, Kriska AM, Latham BD, Lee I, Lloyd E, Marcus BH, Matson-Koffman D, Nadel MR, Obarzanek E, Plepys CM, Pollock ML, Pratt M, Raford PT, Rejeski WJ, Rothenberg RB, Serdula MK, Schoenborn CA, Simons-Morton DG, Stone EJ, Tappe MK, Taylor WC, Warren CW, Young DR (1996) Physical activity and health: a report of the surgeon general. In: Blair SN, Franks AL, Shelton DM, Livengood JR, Hull FL, Breedlove B (eds) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Atlanta, GA Ref type: reportGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bassett WW, Cooperberg MR, Sadetsky N, Silva S, DuChane J, Pasta DJ, Chan JM, Anast JW, Carroll PR, Kane CJ (2005) Impact of obesity on prostate cancer recurrence after radical prostatectomy: data from capsure. Urology 66:1060–1065PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bellizzi KM, Rowland JH, Jeffery DD, McNeel T (2005) Health behaviors of cancer survivors: examining opportunities for cancer control intervention. J Clin Oncol 23:8884–8893PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Berruti A, Dogliotti L, Terrone C, Cerutti S, Isaia G, Tarabuzzi R, Reimondo G, Mari M, Ardissone P, De LS, Fasolis G, Fontana D, Rossetti SR, Angeli A (2002) Changes in bone mineral density, lean body mass and fat content as measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry in patients with prostate cancer without apparent bone metastases given androgen deprivation therapy. J Urol 167:2361–2367PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Blanchard CM, Courneya KS, Rodgers WM, Murnaghan DM (2002) Determinants of exercise intention and behavior in survivors of breast and prostate cancer: an application of the theory of planned behavior. Cancer Nurs 25:88–95PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Blanchard CM, Stein KD, Baker F, Dent MF, Denniston MM, ourneya KS, Nehl E (2004) Association between current lifestyle behaviors and health-related quality of life in breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer survivors. Psychol Health 19:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Carmack Taylor CL, Demoor C, Smith MA, Dunn AL, Basen-Engquist K, Nielsen I, Pettaway C, Sellin R, Massey P, Gritz ER (2006) Active for life after cancer: a randomized trial examining a lifestyle physical activity program for prostate cancer patients. Psychooncology. 15:847–862PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Conn VS, Hafdahl AR, Porock DC, McDaniel R, Nielsen PJ (2006) A meta-analysis of exercise interventions among people treated for cancer. Support Care Cancer 14:699–712PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Coups EJ Ostroff JS (2005) A population-based estimate of the prevalence of behavioral risk factors among adult cancer survivors and noncancer controls. Prev Med 40:702–711CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Courneya KS (2003) Exercise in cancer survivors: an overview of research. Med Sci Sports Exerc 35:1846–1852PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Courneya KS, Blanchard CM, Laing DM (2001) Exercise adherence in breast cancer survivors training for a dragon boat race competition: a preliminary investigation. Psychooncology 10:444–452PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Courneya KS, Keats MR, Turner AR (2000) Social cognitive determinants of hospital-based exercise in cancer patients following high dose chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation. Int J Behav Med 7:189–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Courneya KS, Segal RJ, Reid RD, Jones LW, Malone SC, Venner PM, Parliament MB, Scott CG, Quinney HA, Wells GA (2004) Three independent factors predicted adherence in a randomized controlled trial of resistance exercise training among prostate cancer survivors. J Clin Epidemiol 57:571–579PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Culos-Reed SN, Robinson JL, Lau H, O'Connor K, Keats MR (2007) Benefits of a physical activity intervention for men with prostate cancer. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology 29:118–127Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    da Silva FC, Fossa SD, Aaronson NK, Serbouti S, Denis L, Casselman J, Whelan P, Hetherington J, Fava C, Richards B, Robinson MR (1996) The quality of life of patients with newly diagnosed M1 prostate cancer: experience with EORTC clinical trial 30853. Eur J Cancer 32:72–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Dahn JR, Penedo FJ, Molton I, Lopez L, Schneiderman N, Antoni MH (2005) Physical activity and sexual functioning after radiotherapy for prostate cancer: beneficial effects for patients undergoing external beam radiotherapy. Urology 65:953–958PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Demark-Wahnefried W, Clipp EC, Morey MC, Pieper CF, Sloane R, Snyder DC, Cohen HJ (2004) Physical function and associations with diet and exercise: results of a cross-sectional survey among elders with breast or prostate cancer. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 1:16PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Demark-Wahnefried W, Peterson B, McBride C, Lipkus I, Clipp E (2000) Current health behaviors and readiness to pursue life-style changes among men and women diagnosed with early stage prostate and breast carcinomas. Cancer 88:674–684PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Diamond TH, Bucci J, Kersley JH, Aslan P, Lynch WB, Bryant C (2004) Osteoporosis and spinal fractures in men with prostate cancer: risk factors and effects of androgen deprivation therapy. J Urol 172:529–532PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Galvao DA, Newton RU (2005) Review of exercise intervention studies in cancer patients. J Clin Oncol 23:899–909PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Galvao DA, Nosaka K, Taaffe DR, Spry N, Kristjanson LJ, McGuigan MR, Suzuki K, Yamaya K, Newton RU (2006) Resistance training and reduction of treatment side effects in prostate cancer patients. Med Sci Sports Exerc 38:2045–2052PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hatano T, Oishi Y, Furuta A, Iwamuro S, Tashiro K (2000) Incidence of bone fracture in patients receiving luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonists for prostate cancer. BJU Int 86:449–452PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Holmes MD, Chen WY, Feskanich D, Kroenke CH, Colditz GA (2005) Physical activity and survival after breast cancer diagnosis. JAMA 293:2479–2486PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hunt-Shanks TT, Blanchard CM, Baker F, Hann D, Roberts CS, McDonald J, Livingston M, Witt C, Ruiterman J, Ampela R, Kaw OC (2006) Exercise use as complementary therapy among breast and prostate cancer survivors receiving active treatment: examination of exercise intention. Integr Cancer Ther 5:109–116PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kirshbaum MN (2007) A review of the benefits of whole body exercise during and after treatment for breast cancer. J Clin Nurs 16:104–121PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Knols R, Aaronson NK, Uebelhart D, Fransen J, Aufdemkampe G (2005) Physical exercise in cancer patients during and after medical treatment: a systematic review of randomized and controlled clinical trials. J Clin Oncol 23:3830–3842PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kornblith AB, Herr HW, Ofman US, Scher HI, Holland JC (1994) Quality of life of patients with prostate cancer and their spouses: the value of a data base in clinical care. Cancer 73:2791–2802PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Krupski TL, Smith MR, Lee WC, Pashos CL, Brandman J, Wang Q, Botteman M, Litwin MS (2004) Natural history of bone complications in men with prostate carcinoma initiating androgen deprivation therapy. Cancer 101:541–549PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Kuhn KG, Boesen E, Ross L, Johansen C (2005) Evaluation and outcome of behavioural changes in the rehabilitation of cancer patients: a review. Eur J Cancer 41:216–224PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Litwin MS, Hays RD, Fink A, Ganz PA, Leake B, Leach GE, Brook RH (1995) Quality-of-life outcomes in men treated for localized prostate cancer. JAMA 273:129–135PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    McNeely ML, Campbell KL, Rowe BH, Klassen TP, Mackey JR, Courneya KS (2006) Effects of exercise on breast cancer patients and survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. CMAJ 175:34–41PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Meyerhardt JA, Giovannucci EL, Holmes MD, Chan AT, Chan JA, Colditz GA, Fuchs CS (2006) Physical activity and survival after colorectal cancer diagnosis. J Clin Oncol 24:3527–3534PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Mittan D, Lee S, Miller E, Perez RC, Basler JW, Bruder JM (2002) Bone loss following hypogonadism in men with prostate cancer treated with GnRH analogs. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 87:3656–3661PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Oliver SJ (2003) Physiological and psychological effects of progressive resistance training in elderly prostate cancer patients undergoing androgen deprivation therapy: a pilot study. University of Wales, Bangor, UK Ref type: thesis/dissertationGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Ott C, Fulton MK (2005) Osteoporosis risk and interest in strength training in men receiving androgen ablation therapy for locally advanced prostate cancer. J Am Acad Nurse Pract 17:113–122PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Ramsey SD, Zeliadt SB, Hall IJ, Ekwueme DU, Penson DF (2007) On the importance of race, socioeconomic status, and comorbidity when evaluating quality of life in men with prostate cancer. J Urol 177:1992–1999PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Penson DF, Chan JM (2007) Prostate cancer. J Urol 177:2020–2029PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Pinto BM, Maruyama NC (1999) Exercise in the rehabilitation of breast cancer survivors. Psychooncology 8:191–206PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Pirl WF, Siegel GI, Goode MJ, Smith MR (2002) Depression in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer: a pilot study. Psychooncology 11:518–523PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Preston DM, Torrens JI, Harding P, Howard RS, Duncan WE, McLeod DG (2002) Androgen deprivation in men with prostate cancer is associated with an increased rate of bone loss. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 5:304–310PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Rosenblatt DE, Mellow A (1995) Depression during hormonal treatment of prostate cancer. J Am Board Fam Pract 8:317–320PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Schmitz KH, Holtzman J, Courneya KS, Masse LC, Duval S, Kane R (2005) Controlled physical activity trials in cancer survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 14:1588–1595PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Segal RJ, Reid RD, Courneya KS, Malone SC, Parliament MB, Scott CG, Venner PM, Quinney HA, Jones LW, D'Angelo ME, Wells GA (2003) Resistance exercise in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer. J Clin Oncol 21:1653–1659PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Smith JC, Bennett S, Evans LM, Kynaston HG, Parmar M, Mason MD, Cockcroft JR, Scanlon MF, Davies JS (2001) The effects of induced hypogonadism on arterial stiffness, body composition, and metabolic parameters in males with prostate cancer. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 86:4261–4267PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Smith MR (2004) Changes in fat and lean body mass during androgen-deprivation therapy for prostate cancer. Urology 63:742–745PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Tayek JA, Heber D, Steiner B, Rajfer J, Swerdloff RS (1990) Nutritional and metabolic effects of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist treatment for prostate cancer. Metabolism 39:1314–1319PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Windsor PM, Nicol KF, Potter J (2004) A randomized, controlled trial of aerobic exercise for treatment-related fatigue in men receiving radical external beam radiotherapy for localized prostate carcinoma. Cancer 101:550–557PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Nelson ME, Rejeski WJ, Blair SN, Duncan PW, Judge JO, King AC, Macera CA, Castaneda-Sceppa C (2007) Physical activity and public health in older adults: recommendation from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Med Sci Sports Exerc 39:1435–1445PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lene Thorsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kerry S. Courneya
    • 2
  • Clare Stevinson
    • 2
  • Sophie D. Fosså
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Cancer Research, Division of Cancer Medicine and Radiotherapy, Norwegian Radium HospitalRikshospitalet University HospitalOsloNorway
  2. 2.Faculty of Physical Education and RecreationUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

Personalised recommendations