Power walks could be life-savers for men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, a US study has found.

Walking for at least three hours a week has been shown to improve patients’ outcomes, and even prevent progression of their disease.

But researchers pointed out it is not enough to go for a leisurely stroll. The walks have to be “brisk” to provide any benefit.

Scientists studied 1,455 men who were diagnosed with localised prostate cancer that had not yet started to spread. Patients’ physical activity levels were assessed just over two years after their diagnosis and initial treatment.

Subsequently the US researchers recorded 117 events, including disease recurrence, bone tumours and deaths specifically caused by prostate cancer.

They found that men who walked briskly for at least three hours a week had a 57 per cent lower rate of disease progression than men who walked for less time at an easy pace.

“It appears that men who walk briskly after their diagnosis may delay or even prevent progression of their disease,” said lead scientist Erin Richman, from the University of California, San Francisco.

“The benefit from walking truly depended on how quickly you walked. Walking at an easy pace did not seem to have any benefit.”

The findings, published in the journal Cancer Research, add to growing evidence that regular walking may combat a number of health problems, including heart disease and some cancers.

“Walking is something everyone can and should do to improve their health,” Ms Richman added.

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