Hitting the Gym in Young Adulthood Preventive Measure for African-American Men

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Moderate to vigorous exercise during an African-American man’s 20s may reduce his risk of developing prostate cancer, according to a National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study. Researchers found African-American men between the ages of 51 and 72 years of age were less likely to develop prostate cancer within a 7-year period if they were physically active during young adulthood. African-American men who reported at least 4 hours of exercise per week between the ages of 19 and 29 years of age were 35 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer.

These findings suggest physical fitness may be a solid prevention measure for young black men. Researchers report since tumors tend to be different in African-American men, physical activity which influences both immune function and inflammation play a larger role in these tumors.

“The results are really exciting,” said Kathleen Y. Wolin, ScD, assistant professor of surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “We don’t have a lot of data on things men can do to prevent prostate cancer, and it’s a particular concern in black men, so I think the findings will have intriguing and compelling implications for interventions in the future.”

ZEROThe Project to End Prostate Cancer recognizes that maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle helps prevent many diseases, including prostate cancer. ZERO provides several opportunities for men and their families to get active while supporting an important cause through running and endurance events.

Team ZERO is a training program for individuals who wish to participate in races across the country to raise funds for prostate cancer education, screenings and research. This training program matches runners up with the races they’d like to run while helping end prostate cancer. Participating on this team can, in some cases, guarantee you a spot for a competitive run such as a large marathon. ZERO formed its first team for the 2008 Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 26, 2008. In 2009, ZERO has joined forces with the ING New York City Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC. Space is still available on Team ZERO for the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 25.

ZERO rolled out its Dash for Dad Series aimed at raising awareness and funds toward ending prostate cancer in Alexandria, VA last fall with the first Dash for Dad 10K. More than 650 runners lined up along Eisenhower Avenue for the 2008 race. Help us reach our goal of 1,000 runners in 2009! The Abbot and Depend Dash for Dad 10K will take place Sept. 27, 2009 in Alexandria, VA. All proceeds from this run go to prostate cancer education, PSA testing and research.

For more information about the 2009 Abbot and Depend Dash for Dad 10K, visit http://www.dashfordad.org

If you’re interested in learning more about ZERO’s active events, contact Tracy Amish at tracy@zerocancer.org.

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