Kathryn Schmitz | Penn State Cancer Institute

How can exercise contribute to cancer prevention and to the effectiveness of other cancer treatments?
Posted on June 24th, 2020 by

Kathryn Schmitz

Kathryn Schmitz
Penn State Cancer Institute

Kathryn Schmitz is Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, and Behavioral Research Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Penn State Cancer Institute.

How can precisely-prescribed exercise and nutrition support the health of persons with cancer? The International Agency for Research on Cancer estimates that overweight or obese and sedentary lifestyles cause 25 percent of the world’s cancer cases. In the face of such evidence, it’s important to promote behavior modification strategies, such as exercise, to prevent cancer. Research demonstrates that such behavior modification interventions among cancer patients and survivors can have positive effects; more than 100 studies show the numerous benefits of exercise to this patient population. Research now focuses on making exercise and nutrition a key aspect of the treatment plan. In order to maximize their benefits, more research is needed to determine the best combinations of exercise and nutrition for persons with specific cancers.

Kathryn Schmitz studies the effectiveness of strength training for cancer patients and survivors. Her research has examined behavior-related risk factors for cancer, and also the role that estrogen plays in cancer development. Schmitz’s work reflects the integration of physical science and behavior modification tools for cancer prevention and management.

A professor in the department of public health sciences at Penn State, Schmitz is also past president of the American College of Sports Medicine, associate director of Population Sciences at the Penn State Cancer Institute, and Chair of the Obesity in the Cancer Interest Group for The Obesity Society.


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