Physical activity assessment among men undergoing genetic counseling for inherited prostate cancer: a teachable moment for improved survivorship

Support Care Cancer. 2021 Apr;29(4):2145-2151. doi: 10.1007/s00520-020-05667-8. Epub 2020 Sep 2.


Background: Genetic counseling (GC) presents an opportunity to address modifiable cancer risk factors, such as obesity, which is impacted by non-adherence to physical activity (PA) guidelines. Adherence to PA guidelines has not been assessed among men undergoing GC for prostate cancer (PCA). We conducted a targeted analysis of men undergoing PCA GC to assess adherence to PA recommendations.

Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, a total of 158 men from the Genetic Evaluation of Men (GEM) study at two academic cancer centers with a diagnosis or at risk for PCA completed a structured lifestyle survey, including questions about the number of days and intensity of PA over the past year. One-sample t tests assessed adherence of participants to PA recommendations. Chi-square analyses compared differences in PA adherence by PCA status, aggressiveness, family history, and body mass index. Logistic regression analyses identified predictors of PA adherence.

Results: High proportions of GEM participants were overweight (44.9%) or obese (38.0%, p = 0.002). Men with PCA engaged in less moderate (p = 0.019) and vigorous (p = 0.005) aerobic activity than men without PCA. Higher education was predictive of adherence to light (p = 0.008), moderate (p = 0.019), and vigorous (p = 0.002) intensity PA. Older age (p = 0.015) and higher education (p = 0.001) were predictive of adherence to strength-based recommendations.

Conclusions: High proportions of men receiving PCA GC were overweight/obese and lacked adherence to PA recommendations. GC represents a teachable moment to address PA to reduce cancer risk and promote cancer survivorship.

Keywords: Genetic testing; Obesity; Physical activity; Prostate cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Genetic Counseling / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Risk Factors
  • Survivorship

Supplementary concepts

  • Prostate cancer, familial