The record holding, seven-time winner of the Tour de France, Lance Armstong is also a survivor of testicular cancer.
Diagnosed in 1996, the cyclist learned that his cancer had spread to his brain and lungs and was given a less than 50% chance of survival. Confronting his diagnosis the way any athlete would confront a challenge, Armstrong took the cancer head on.
Receiving high doses of chemotherapy, Armstrong stayed positive and kept his mind focused on the future. Even through his treatment, Lance established the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 1997. The foundation’s goals looked to empower people affected by cancer. Lance would also serve as an advocate for cancer survivors and raise funds for further cancer research.
Today, Lance is a current member on the President’s Cancer Panel which works to report directly to the President about Americans and cancer. He is cancer-free and still cycling.
In 1997 Scott Hamilton was on top of the world of ice skating. He was competing in Peoria when things starting to feel a bit unusual. Hamilton says he felt a pain in his abdomen and could not stand up straight. Initially he thought he was having an ulcer from the stress of skating and the pressures of competition. When the pain became worse and appeared to be in jeopardy of affecting his performance, he went to have it checked out.
After receiving numerous scans and tests, Hamilton was told he had a mass in his abdomen and was told he needed to have further testing done. Hamilton said he knew then and there that the doctors were telling him that he had cancer.
Five days later at the Cleveland Clinic, Hamilton was diagnosed with testicular cancer and began to receive chemotherapy as treatment.
Hamilton’s cancer was advanced; it had spread into his abdomen. Most cases of testicular cancer do not produce symptoms in the initial stage, as in Hamilton’s case. Testicular cancer is a fast moving aggressive form of cancer and can be fatal if not caught and treated quickly.
Hamilton received a treatment of chemicals that lasted for twelve weeks as well as a few radiation therapies that killed off the cancer. Hamilton underwent chemotherapy for 12 weeks, receiving two drugs cisplatin and etoposide intravenously.
Hamilton said that there is a change in your quality of life due to chemotherapy, but an inconvenience for a short period of time cannot be as bad as to lose your life to the disease.
Hamilton is happy to report he’s cancer-free.
Dan Abrams, anchor of The Abrams Report on MSNBC, was diagnosed with testicular cancer at age 37. Like other men, Abrams did not know much about whom testicular cancer affects until he had it.
However, he learned what it was when he was watching a movie about a man dealing with testicular cancer. He noticed the signs the man had were similar to what he felt, just a few days before; he had a swollen right testicle.
After running some tests, his doctor confirmed that he did have testicular cancer, but it was curable. Abrams had surgery to remove the cancer and then underwent CAT scans to make sure that they had gotten rid of all of it. At that time, the scans were completely clear. However, when a biopsy was performed a couple of days later, the cancer had spread into the blood vessels around his testicles.
Abrams decided to have surgery to remove all of the lymph nodes in his abdomen, a decision that would prove successful and lead him to remission. Abrams now opens up about his fight and hopes by sharing his story, young men will perform self-checks.
Richard Belzer is most well known for his recurring role as Detective Munch on the hit NBC show Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
Belzer was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1984. Surviving it that same year, he has since released an HBO Special as well as a comedy CD entitled Another Lone Nut, in which he makes light of his diagnosis of testicular cancer.
Surviving cancer also inspired Belzer to kick his cocaine and heroin habit and continue his thriving career.
Laughter is the best medicine. Media personality and comedian Tom Green has spent his entire career shocking his audience.
However, in March of 2000, he received a shock of his own. At 29 years of age, Green was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Of course, this only opened up yet another outlet for the typical combination of humor and sensitive situations. Green released ‘The Ball Song’ with opening lyrics, “hey kids, feel your balls so you don’t get cancer”. He then aired the Tom Green Cancer Special on MTV, including graphic footage of the surgical procedure, semen samples, and the removed testicle, which according to his co-host Glenn Humplik, ‘looks like chicken’.
He uses humor to educate, and through all of the jokes, he tells his story. Green underwent orchiectomy, the removal of the cancerous testicle, and then further underwent retroperitoneal lymph node dissection to make sure the cancer did not spread. His early detection, and urgent follow up allowed him a full recovery.
By creating the show, and making jokes about his situation, Green was able to focus on something else, but more importantly has helped those who have testicular cancer. Through pretty ‘ballsy’ ways, he eases the atmosphere and allows for comfortable discussion. Green is not quite a ‘nutcase’ after all.
Standing tall at 6’9” and weighing in at 235 pounds, Youngstown State University basketball star Dallas Blocker never expected an opponent like testicular cancer. Diagnosed in the spring of 2009, Blocker faced six months of intense chemotherapy and rehabilitation before returning to the court for the 2009-2010 season. A testament to his determination, Blocker joined the starting lineup when the season opened on November 13, 2009 and produced the best numbers of his young career. Dallas Blocker has also been recognized by the V Foundation for Cancer Research with the Comeback Player Award. Rewarded in honor of Jimmy Valvano, a basketball player and coach who battled cancer courageously till his death, the Jimmy V award is given to student-athletes who embody triumph in the face of adversity. The award is just one of many accomplishments the 22 year old has made in these past fews years. Blocker hopes to teach history when he graduates this spring and become an advocate for future testicular cancer campaigns.