Dr. Kathryn Schmitz overturned years of entrenched dogma that told breast cancer survivors to avoid upper body exercise with the publication of two ground-breaking scientific papers in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Schmitz’s study proved that, contrary to common clinical advice, upper body exercise was safe and beneficial for survivors of breast cancer. She has made it her personal mission to use exercise for cancer prevention and recovery in the same way it has been used for heart disease—only better. This work has made Dr. Schmitz among the most sought-after international speakers and media commentators on the role of exercise during cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Currently a professor of Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, Dr. Schmitz also holds appointments as a professor of Kinesiology as well as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Penn State. She maintains an adjunct professor position at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She is also the founding director of the Exercise Medicine Unit at the Penn State Cancer Institute where she directs a team of therapists and provides exercise counseling and personalized exercise recommendations to cancer patients.