When prostate cancer is the diagnosis, it’s not at all uncommon for men to swing into action, improving their lifestyles in hopes of helping beat the disease. Diet tends to improve, the frequency of exercise goes up and those who overindulge tend to take steps to slow alcohol consumption while also possibly kicking nicotine habits.
While these moves are all beneficial for helping fight cancer while also improving overall health, researchers are finding that men tend to fall back into old routines more often than not. The University Hospitals Bristol Education Centre recently tracked 511 men through a questionnaire that delved into questions about their diets, health and lifestyles before and nine months after diagnosis. Researchers found that some 40.7 percent of 177 men who were not active enough before diagnosis took positive steps to remedy that after getting a diagnosis. By the nine month mark, however, there was very little evidence that men maintained the lifestyle changes.
Researchers concluded that men tended to change habits for the better following diagnosis, but fell off track rather quickly. That finding has raised questions about a need for more follow up support to help former prostate cancer patients lead healthier lifestyles going forward. While organized support in this vein specifically for prostate cancer patients may not be available, men who wish to maintain healthier lifestyles long after diagnosis will find assistance is out there if they seek it. Some of the ways to keep those positive habit changes doing include:
- Getting active in support-based exercise programs to maintain a healthy weight
- Working with a dietician, family and friends to create a healthier meal plan that can be maintained going forward
- Working with family and friends and even support groups, if necessary, to kick other bad lifestyle habits, such as smoking or overindulgence in alcohol.
The positive lifestyle changes made by men following a prostate cancer diagnosis can have fantastic ripple effects throughout the lives and in regard to overall health. Maintaining these changes long after diagnosis is critical, however, for feeling the full benefits of healthier living.