Dr Mairead Cantwell on Physical Activity and Cancer

Physical Activity throughout the Cancer Journey – An Insight into the Irish Experience

Physical activity plays an important role in maximising our health and quality of life. For individuals living with and beyond cancer, regular physical activity can increase fitness, strength and quality of life, and help manage treatment-related side effects. It may also reduce the risk of cancer mortality and recurrence. As a result, it is recommended that exercise is included as part of standard practice in cancer care. But is physical activity something that is discussed with individuals who have had a cancer diagnosis in Ireland? And if so, what is recommended? What are the challenges that individuals face in trying to being physically active during and after cancer treatment? Could taking part in a community-based exercise programme help to improve physical and psychological health after cancer? These were just some of the questions that Dr. Mairéad Cantwell tried to answer as part of her PhD which was conducted at Dublin City University and funded by the Irish Cancer Society. Join Mairéad on Friday 12th March at 11am to see what she found!
Dr. Mairéad Cantwell is a lecturer in the Department of Sport and Health Sciences in Athlone Institute of Technology. Mairéad graduated from Dublin City University with a first class honours degree in Sport Science and Health, and completed an M.Sc. at Liverpool John Moores University in Clinical Exercise Physiology, where she graduated with distinction. Mairéad worked as a clinical exercise physiologist in Ireland, the UK and Australia from 2011-2018 where she gained extensive experience in cardiac, pulmonary and oncology rehabilitation in both hospital and community-based settings. Mairéad completed her PhD at Dublin City University in 2019 in the area of oncology rehabilitation. Her PhD was funded by the Irish Cancer Society and Mairéad was the recipient of the Irish Cancer Society’s First PhD Researcher of the Year Award. Mairéad began her current role at AIT in 2018. She is part of AIT’s SHE Research Group which aims to bridge the gender data gap in sport, health and exercise science research. Her research focuses on the role of physical activity and nutrition in the treatment and management of chronic diseases.