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Football Beneficial For Men With Prostate Cancer

Update Date: Jun 20, 2014 10:42 AM EDT

Men with prostate cancer aged 43-74 achieve bigger and stronger muscles and improve functional capacity by playing football for 12 weeks, according to a new study. 

Further, playing football could also help them gain positive social experiences and desire to remain active. 

Another of the two studies published on recreational football added that football is a promising novel approach for health promotion in prostate cancer patients as the participants regain pride in their bodies while developing team spirit and mutual concern. 

"This is the first study of its kind in the world, and the results clearly show the potential of recreational football in the rehabilitation of prostate cancer patients," said project leader Julie Midtgaard, a psychologist at The Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet, in the press release. "Just 12 weeks of football training resulted in the men regaining control and developing a unique exchange of feelings and recognition centered around the sport."

The press release added that the attendance rate was also high over the 12 weeks and many participants are still playing the game two years after the project began. 

"The provision of football proved to be a good way of developing friendships between the men and a unique model for men with prostate cancer to take responsibility of their own health without giving up their claim to feel and behave like men," concluded Midtgaard.

"Androgen deprivation therapy through medical castration is an effective treatment of prostate cancer patients but has adverse effects in the form of reduced muscle mass, higher fat percentage and reduced physical activity," explained Professor Peter Krustrup, who co-initiated the study with Midtgaard and has been studying the effects of recreational football for the past 10 years.

"Our study also showed that recreational football was fun and inclusive for the participants in FC Prostate, and for every training session the intensity was high, with an average heart rate of 85% of the participants' maximum heart rate," said Krustrup in the press release. 

Both of these studies have been published in Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports.

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