Dr Anne Charlton was Professor Emerita of Cancer Health Education at the University of Manchester and made major contribution to cancer prevention and tobacco control. She is now among one of the thousands of coranavirus victims in the UK.
Anne gave many years of voluntary service to the UICC, from the 1970s to 2020. She began as a biology teacher in the north of England and in 1974 she joined the Manchester Regional Committee for Cancer Education, where she investigated children's beliefs about cancer.
In 1976, she was invited to join UICC as a member of the Children and Young People Project, which she chaired for many years. She assembled a small international team to write resources on schools cancer education for UICC to distribute to member organisations and provided faculty for regional training workshops in a number of countries.
Dr Charlton was made a Life Fellow of the Cancer Research Campaign (now Cancer Research UK) and was appointed Director of the CRC Education and Child Studies Research Group at the University of Manchester. In 1989, she received the Evian Award for Science and Medicine.
Tobacco control was one of her major aims. Several highly effective teaching materials involving children, their parents and teachers were developed and evaluated. Large scale longitudinal surveys were carried out to identify factors related to uptake of smoking, one of which was the far-reaching finding that teenaged boys who watched Formula One motor racing were at increased risk of smoking. Cigarette advertising was frequent on Formula 1 cars at that time, and this research contributed to its later ban.
According to her colleagues, Anne had a quiet manner together with a sharp intelligence and curiosity. She had a strong interest in medical history and published some original papers – including one in which she may have discovered the real reason for Henry VIII’s tempestuous personality and death.
She contracted coronavirus while having orthopaedic surgery in hospital and passed away on Monday 4 April. Her tireless engagement on behalf of the cancer community will be sorely missed. UICC expresses its deep condolences to her family for their great loss.