How he Overcame the Seemingly Impossible
The Lance Armstrong cancer survivor story is truly inspirational, and the Lance Armstrong foundation, which he founded in 1997, has helped many people with cancer through advocacy and awareness campaigns, fundraising events and volunteer opportunities.
At the age of 25, Lance Armstrong seemed invincible. He was one of the world’s best cyclists, having won numerous races, including a couple of stages in the Tour De France, arguably the world’s biggest cycling race. But then his life changed. He was diagnosed with cancer.
The diagnosis was testicular cancer, stage 3. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged 15-35, and when diagnosed early, has a very good cure rate of 90%. However, Lance being a seemingly healthy young man, ignored the warning signs. By the time the cancer was diagnosed, it had spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain. His chances of survival dimmed.
But the Lance Armstrong cancer story doesn’t end there. Lance’s combination of physical conditioning, strong support system and competitive spirit took over. He declared himself a not a cancer victim but a cancer survivor. He educated himself about the disease and treatment options. Armed with this knowledge, he underwent aggressive treatment and beat the disease.
The standard chemotherapy drugs to treat testicular cancer are a cocktail of BEP (bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin, or platinol). Armstrong chose an alternative though, VIP (etoposide, ifosfamide, and cisplatin) to avoid the lung toxicity associated with the drug bleomycin. This decision may have saved his cycling career, by avoiding impaired lung function caused by the drug. His treatment lasted from October to December 1996. During his treatment Lance underwent two surgeries, one to remove the cancerous testicle and another to remove two cancerous lesions from his brain.
Armstrong created the Lance Armstrong Foundation during his treatment. He is now a world representative for the cancer community, with his foundation uniting, empowering and inspiring people with cancer.
The Lance Armstrong cancer battle should be an inspiration to us all, Lance always had great faith and hope, and did not let his poor prognosis deter him. He did everything he possibly could to get better. He chose a very strong method of treatment to give his body the best possible hope for recovery. He pushed himself hard to stay in shape, and to begin training as soon as he could.
Not only did he keep racing, but just 3 years after his diagnosis he went on to win the Tour de France, a race he has gone on to win 7 times. Lance’s success should give hope to every other cancer sufferer, that no matter how grim the outlook might be, there is always hope!
The Lance Armstrong cancer story does not end with his recovery, for Armstrong it is the beginning of the battle against cancer, for those who are, or have yet to be affected by it. Lance owes his current life to cancer, the disease made him who he is now, and made him decide to live strong.
If you would like to learn more about the Lance Armstrong foundation and see how you can get involved or get support if you are a cancer sufferer, please visit the pages below: