Physical activity and urologic cancers

Urol Oncol. 2012 Sep;30(5):729-34. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2012.07.009.


Despite convincing evidence that physical activity protects against colon and breast cancers, the association of physical activity with urologic cancers is less well explored. Expert panels have previously found a probably protective benefit for prostate cancer, but insufficient evidence for other urologic cancers. We review the evidence for testicular, kidney/renal, bladder, and prostate cancers, including whether benefits may exist within subgroups. While the limited evidence base does not support an association of physical activity with either testicular or bladder cancers, a growing body of research suggests that physical activity results in a modest risk reduction for kidney cancer. A large number (>30) of studies suggests a probable small decrease in prostate cancer risk among those who are physically active, which is likely driven by the effect on advanced/aggressive tumors. The role of physical activity in decreasing urologic cancer risk is thus likely limited to advanced prostate and possibly kidney cancers with no association in testicular or bladder cancers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Kidney Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Testicular Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Urologic Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Urologic Neoplasms / prevention & control