Lance Armstrong's Battle With Cancer

At 25, Lance Armstrong won the World Championships of bicycle racing, the Tour Du Pont and multiple Tour de France. Then he found out he had cancer.

Lance Armstrong won a world title in bicycle racing before his first full season as a professional. At 25, he won the World Championships, the Tour Du Pont and multiple Tour de France.

Then he found out in 1996 he had testicular cancer. His cancer then spread throughout his stomach, lungs and brain. If cancer is testicular cancer is discovered early, a man is usually given a 70% chance of survival. Because, Armstrong says he ignored warning signals, his chances of survival dropped as low as 40%.

Armstrong said in an interview in the Testicular Cancer Resource Center, he remembered thinking, "Oh my God, I'm going to die!"



"It just got so painful, I couldn't sit on my bike anymore," Armstrong remembered in the interview.

He even coughed up blood once.

"I thought if I coughed up a little blood, and if I don't do it tommorrow, then it must not" be so bad.

Armstrong didn't give up and this year he

won the Tour de France race for the second year in a row--the major race in the world for bicyclists. The race lasts 2,274 miles over , 23 day test of stamina and courage.

Armstrong got to that point by not giving up. He said he declared himself a cancer survivor, not a cancer victim. He had chemotherapy and surgury. He had a physical treatment program , a competitive spirit and a support system. He was declared cancer free.

"In 1996, two months before I was diagnosed, the illness was raging," Armstrong said in an interview with Associated Press. He says thirty years ago, 95 percent of those who had testicular cancer died, but today 95 percent survive.

"In 2,000, I'm not much of a miracle," he explained "Thirty years ago, yes it would have been a miracle."

Armstrong also wants to help others. In 1996, he founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The organization provides grants and partnerships to institutions and organizations to help fight cancer. It also is active in public education about the disease.

In 1995 he established the Lance Armstrong Junior Series to promote the sport among youth. Armstrong may be a good model to young people, both for his accomplishments as an athlete and his successful fight against cancer.

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