AHN Cancer Institute Recruit Brings Unique Expertise in Benefits of Exercise and Nutrition for Improving Cancer Treatment Outcomes

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Press Release

In Partnership With:

Colin Champ, MD, to lead AHN exercise oncology program at AGH Suburban Campus in Bellevue.

Colin Champ, MD, CSCS

Colin Champ, MD, CSCS

Colin Champ, MD, CSCS, a radiation oncologist with unique expertise in the role exercise and nutrition play in the health of cancer patients and survivors, has joined the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Cancer Institute and will lead a novel exercise oncology program for cancer patients aimed at decreasing treatment side effects, boosting quality of life, and improving outcomes.

Dr. Champ’s program will be housed in a new 2,650-square-foot health and fitness facility located at the AGH Suburban campus in Bellevue. He also will practice radiation oncology at AHN’s Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion, Wexford Hospital and West Penn Hospital.

Formerly an associate professor at the Duke Cancer Institute, Dr. Champ’s research has centered on the interaction between diet, exercise and metabolism, assessing whether weight training and functional exercise can help improve overall health and cancer-specific outcomes in patients treated for breast cancer and lymphoma.

“I am thrilled to join such an innovative and patient-centered oncology team at AHN while also having the opportunity to build a new exercise program for cancer survivors,” Dr. Champ said. “I am passionate about healthy eating and exercise, and my goal is to give patients the tools they need to take charge of their own health, today and into the future. As clinicians and researchers, I believe we’ve just scratched the surface of learning how fitness and good nutrition can impact our patients’ lives for the better.”

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), observational studies show strong evidence that higher levels of physical activity are linked to a lower risk of several types of cancer including bladder, breast, colon, endometrial, esophageal, kidney and stomach cancer. Obesity is also a risk factor for numerous cancers and can affect quality of life and the likelihood of a recurrence during survivorship, according to the NCI.

A 2018 report of the American College of Sports Medicine International Multidisciplinary Roundtable on Physical Activity and Cancer Prevention and Control also concluded that all cancer survivors should engage in some physical activity, as there is strong evidence that it can improve quality of life, physical function and cognitive function. Some findings have also raised the possibility that exercise has beneficial effects on survival for patients with breast, colorectal and prostate cancer.

Dr. Champ, a native of Pittsburgh, graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received his M.D. degree from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. He is a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and is board-certified in integrative medicine by the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine, and board-certified in radiation oncology by the American Board of Radiation Oncology. He has published research on a wide variety of topics including ketogenic and calorie-restricted diets for cancer patients.

“Dr. Champ brings to AHN Cancer Institute a unique combination of expertise in radiation oncology and insight into the interaction between fitness, nutrition and cancer,” said David L. Bartlett, MD, Chair, AHN Cancer Institute. “His work fits well with our philosophy of treating the whole patient, not just the disease. We are delighted that he has joined our team and look forward to seeing the impact his work will have on our patients’ lives.”

The fitness program at AGH Suburban will initially be open to a limited number of patients, by physician referral only. More information is available by calling 412-DOCTORS.

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About the Allegheny Health Network:

Allegheny Health Network (AHN.org) is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the greater Western Pennsylvania region. The Network is composed of 14 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, Health + Wellness Pavilions, an employed physician organization, home and community-based health services, a research institute, and a group purchasing organization. The Network provides patients with access to a complete spectrum of advanced medical services, including nationally recognized programs for primary and emergency care, trauma care, cardiovascular disease, organ transplantation, cancer care, orthopedic surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, women’s health, diabetes, autoimmune disease and more. AHN employs approximately 21,000 people, has more than 2,600 physicians on its medical staff and serves as a clinical campus for Drexel University College of Medicine and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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