The Terminal Cancer Patient Who Won a Marathon


March 26, 2013

Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH, an associate professor of Epidemiology, is quoted in a Wall Street Journal article about a brain cancer patient who has continued as a marathon runner despite his illness. Research shows that there are lower exercise rates among cancer patients than among the general population, a problem often exacerbated by oncologists who urge their patients to take it easy. Never mind that the American Cancer Society and other medical groups now encourage exercise among cancer patients — including encouraging breast-cancer survivors to lift weights. "Among clinicians there continues to be a reticence," said Schmitz, who studies the role of exercise in cancer patients. "Mr. Leon gives us someone to point to when a person fighting cancer says, 'I can't do it. Start where you are. Walk laps around the dining room table. A cancer diagnosis doesn't give you a get-out-of-jail-free card."

Wall Street Journal article