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Lance Armstrong defeated testicular cancer for a stellar career in sport

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Lance Armstrong is a road bicycle rider who has achieved a wide-reaching success in his profession. He won the Tour de France, the biggest and most important tournament in the sport, a record-breaking seven years in a row. Armstrong is perhaps the best road cyclist to have ever performed in the sport and has been presented with countless awards. But his road to success was slowed, and almost stopped – at the age of 25 he was diagnosed with testicular cancer before his career had even taken off.

Armstrong had already reached stage three of the cancer when he was diagnosed, meaning it had spread to his lungs, brain and abdomen as well as having a sizeable tumor in his testicle. Armstrong immediately underwent treatment; he had the testicle with the tumor removed and immediately began chemotherapy. He also had his brain tumors surgically removed. Despite acting quickly, doctors did not give Armstrong a good prognosis, stating his chance of survival was at only 50 percent, as the cancer had spread after Armstrong ignored the warning signs.

Two years after his initial diagnosis, Armstrong’s cancer was found to have gone into remission, and in early 1998 – two years after diagnosis – he had already begun training intensively again.

In an interview he said he once recalled thinking: “Oh my God, I’m going to die.” What triggered a visit to the doctor, according to Armstrong, was the fact that it was too painful to sit on his bicycle. He even recalls coughing up blood, but initially ignored the symptom.

Today he sees himself as a cancer survivor, not a cancer victim. In a bid to help others, he founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation (also called Livestrong), which helps in the fight against cancer, as well as educating the public about the disease.

After being cured of cancer, Armstrong went on to win the Tour de France seven years in a row after going into remission, from 1999 to 2005. He retired from the profession of bicycle racing in 2005 after his seventh win, but made a comeback to the sport in 2009. Sheryl Crow , who dated Armstrong for a while, also fell victim to the disease. She also beat her breast cancer to go onto raise awareness and funds for cancer research.

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