An associate professor at Edinburgh Napier University is lending her voice to the wellbeing of cancer survivors after being invited to a prestigious multidisciplinary event.
Dr Anna Campbell, who was awarded an MBE in 2016 for her services to research into exercise and cancer survivorship, was one of a number of experts from across the world to contribute to the International, Multidisciplinary Roundtable on Exercise and Cancer Prevention and Control in San Francisco earlier this month.
She joined other leading academics, researchers, charity representatives and professional members to update current exercise recommendations for cancer survivors based on the latest science, as well as add new recommendations regarding the effect of exercise on cancer prevention.
With guests from counties such as Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada and the USA invited to the event, Dr Campbell was the only UK representative and was delighted to be asked to take part.
“Getting to be part of this expert group is one of the pinnacles of my career, along with receiving an MBE. This is the beginning of a sea change in connecting those affected by cancer with appropriate, safe and effective exercise and rehabilitation. I think we will all look back to this meeting as the start of something big – making a global impact in ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to stay active after a cancer diagnosis.”
A recognized expert in exercise oncology, Dr Campbell has spent more than 18 years researching the physical and psychological benefits of staying active after a cancer diagnosis. In addition to publishing her research and establishing best practice, she is also a consultant for Macmillan Cancer Care, assisting in the establishment and evaluation of UK-wide community-based exercise programmes for cancer patients and survivors.
At the roundtable, she joined others at the forefront of ensuring the guidelines for staying active after cancer diagnosis are as evidence-based and up-to-date as possible by speaking about exercise and rehabilitation programmes in both healthcare and community settings, as well as improving exercise behaviour.
The aim of the event is to translate the latest scientific and clinical empirical evidence into new, practical recommendations and create effective tools for clinicians and the public based on the recommendations. The work done in support of these aims will be published in peer-reviewed literature in early 2019.
“The main aim is to have one voice internationally which will have a global impact,” explained Dr Campbell. “Anyone working with anybody with cancer will know what they can and can’t do.”
Edinburgh Napier is also set to benefit, as the qualification for cancer exercise expertise is embedded in the University’s Clinical Exercise Science Masters.
“The Masters is becoming more and more popular,” said Dr Campbell. “It provides students with a vocational qualification as well as an academic degree.”