While many men make beneficial lifestyle changes after prostate cancer diagnosis, additional support through interventions may be required to maintain these changes, according to an International Journal of Cancer study.

Lucy Hackshaw-McGeagh, PhD, of the University Hospitals Bristol Education Centre and colleagues enrolled 511 patients who completed a questionnaire on diet, health and lifestyle status both before and nine months after diagnosis as part of the Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment (ProtecT) trial.

The researchers found that in 177 men who were insufficiently active prior to diagnosis, 40.7 percent of them had increased their activity by a median of 22 units per week.

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However, at 9 months there was little evidence to suggest that men were more active after diagnosis than before.

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Men from working-class backgrounds who were insufficiently active were 2.03 times more likely to increase their physical activity levels compared to men in “managerial” or “professional” backgrounds.

They also found an overall reduction in alcohol intake and proportion of current smokers, but no overall change in BMI.

“We conclude that some men spontaneously change certain lifestyle behaviors on receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer,” the authors concluded. “For many men, however, additional support through lifestyle interventions are probably required to facilitate and maintain these changes.”


  1. Hackshaw-McGeagh, Lucy E., et al. “Physical activity, alcohol consumption, BMI and smoking status before and after prostate cancer diagnosis in the ProtecT trial: Opportunities for lifestyle modification.” International Journal of Cancer. DOI: 10.1002/ijc.29514. 2015.