Bicyclist Lance Armstrong Starts Cycle of Hope Cancer Campaign (dateline February 14, 2000) | Breast Health News | Imaginis - The Women's Health & Wellness Resource Network

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Bicyclist Lance Armstrong Starts Cycle of Hope Cancer Campaign (dateline February 14, 2000)

Photo courtesy
Cycle of Hope

Lance Armstrong, Tour de France bicycling champion and cancer survivor, has recently launched  Cycle of Hope, a national cancer education campaign for cancer patients and those at risk of developing cancer. The goals of Cycle of Hope are to encourage early cancer detection, to reduce anxiety associated with cancer, to encourage a team approach to cancer treatment, and to give hope to cancer patients and their loved ones. It is estimated that 1.2 million Americans will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in the year 2000; nearly 183,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.

According to Armstrong, too many people are diagnosed with cancer in late stages, when the chances of survival are significantly lower. "I ignored my symptoms until it was almost too late," said Armstrong in a Cycle of Hope press release. "I am dedicated to the Cycle of Hope campaign because I want to help others break out of their cycle of misunderstanding and fear and empower themselves through Cycle of Hope." Armstrong was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer in 1996 at age 25 and did not seek medical attention until five months after he first experienced pain and swelling in his groin. After further examination, a dozen golf-ball size tumors were found in his lungs and several lesions were detected on his brain. Armstrong’s doctors estimated that his chances of survival were around 50%.

Determined to fight cancer, Armstrong and his family learned everything they could about the disease. After undergoing surgery and aggressive chemotherapy and maintaining a positive attitude, he was able to overcome the disease. He began bicycling again, training in the mountains of North Carolina, and in July 1999, he won the Tour de France in Paris. Three months later, Armstrong’s wife, Kristin, gave birth to their son, Luke David Armstrong.

Partnered with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, the manufacturer of several anti-cancer drugs, Armstrong started his Cycle of Hope non-profit organization to help promote cancer research and early detection. Cycle of Hope offers a free information packet to both cancer patients and healthy people concerned about their risk of cancer. The packet contains an interactive "wheel" that provides information about common risk factors and symptoms associated with nine different types of cancer: breast, ovarian, bladder, melanoma, colorectal, lung, lymphoma, prostate, and testicular. For those who have been recently diagnosed with cancer, the packet provides basic information about their diagnosis and treatment options. The packet also contains advice from Armstrong on coping with and surviving cancer as well as resources for loved ones caring for a person with cancer.

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