Putting Exercise Front & Centre in Cancer Treatment

Dr. Kerry S. Courneya, winner of the 2019 Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health

Dr. Kerry S. Courneya, winner of the 2019 Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health

McGill, in association with Manulife and the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics, bestowed the 2019 Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health upon Dr. Kerry S. Courneya, professor and Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Cancer at the University of Alberta.

Dr. Courneya is among the first researchers to shape the field of exercise oncology. When he first launched his research program in the 1990s, exercise was not recognized as a key component of cancer care. Through his work, Dr. Courneya was able to demonstrate that physical activity is a safe and effective method for cancer patients to improve fitness and quality of life, and reduce symptoms, both during and after treatments. The evidence he gathered has been compelling enough to justify the early incorporation of physical activity into cancer care and survivorship programs in Canada and beyond.

With over 500 papers published in scientific journals, Dr. Courneya is one of the most prolific researchers in the field of exercise oncology. He is also involved in several projects designed to translate exercise oncology research into clinical and community practice, including a national knowledge translation project focused on breast cancer survivors, and an industry-led initiative on the management of cancer-related fatigue.

The Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health, valued at $50,000, was established to recognize researchers whose work has advanced the understanding of how physical activity, nutrition or psychosocial factors influence personal health and wellbeing. This prize is made possible through the support of Manulife and is administered by the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics at the Desautels Faculty of Management.


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