Local GP and cancer lead Dr Neil Smith, has won his age group category in the Macmillan Triathlon. Dr Neil Smith completed the half mile lake swim; 15 mile cycle and 4 mile run at Roundhay Park in Leeds in a total time of 1 hour 35 minutes and 24 seconds.
Dr Smith was born and bred locally and after studying to be a doctor returned to Blackburn and became a partner at Oakenhurst Medical Practice. He has acted as a trainer and mentor for scores of local GP’s and works as stadium doctor at Ewood Park. He is the cancer lead for Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and the cancer team he leads have won multiple awards for their work in improving cancer care in Pennine Lancashire.
He is trying to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity not only in preventing cancer but as a positive therapy for people with cancer.
Dr Smith said: “Leading a physically active lifestyle both during and after cancer is linked to an improvement in many of the adverse effects of cancer and its treatments. An active lifestyle helps overcome fatigue, anxiety and depression, whilst protecting the heart, lungs and bones. In some cases, being physically active has been shown to slow disease progression, improve survival and reduce the chance of recurrence.”
Macmillan Cancer Support provides a range of information to help encourage and support people to be more physically active as part of their Move More programme. Dr Smith recommends cancer patients undertake the Macmillan Move More physical activity programme and ask their Clinical Nurse Specialist, GP or Practice Nurse for further details.
He said: “If physical exercise were a drug, it would be hitting the headlines. I just want to motivate people to be more active and beat cancer”.
Dr Smith has set himself a personal challenge during his 50th birthday year to undertake a series of swimming, cycling and running events to raise money for Cancer Research and Macmillan Cancer Support, with the aim of raising £2,000. His just giving page can be found at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/neil-smith27
You can also find out more about the Macmillan Move More East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen programme at www.macmillan.org.uk.