Cycling and Cancer

The cyclist Lance Armstrong recently celebrated an anniversary. It has been ten years since he was diagnosed with metastatic testicular cancer, which his doctors believed would kill him.

Based on his inspiring story and his efforts to publicize the disease, Armstrong has become an anti-cancer crusader. But on examining his foundation’s website ( www.laf.org ) and his writings, a nagging question remains: Did the same tenacity that enabled Armstrong to win seven Tour de France bicycle races help cure his cancer? Armstrong is careful not to equate cycling with cancer, but he—and his legions of fans—often cannot help but do so. Such a connection may be highly misleading.

By his early twenties, Armstrong was becoming a force in the racing world, but all was not well. In 1996, at age 25, Armstrong developed fatigue, testicular pain and a bloody cough.

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