This morning I received the sad news that one of our good friends has been diagnosed with testicular cancer. The cancer has metastasized into his abdomen and lungs. Needless to say we were devastated by this news and especially feel for his family.
"D" is only 31 years old and has been married for just a couple years. He will immediately start treatment and we wish him the best and will be there for he and his family should they need anything. My second thought upon hearing the news was that he is fortunate he is in Taiwan and does not have to worry about how they are going to pay for his chemotherapy.
Testicular cancer strikes 1 in 250 men and usually occurs in men between the ages of 15 and 40. It is detectable and has one of the highest cure rates of all cancers; almost 100% if it has not metastasized. Furthermore, it is relatively easy to detect and I recommend all men regularly examine your junk for any abnormalities, swelling, tender spots or lumps.
Although many cyclists eschew Lance Armstrong for several reasons, primarily because he was too successful and became the ONLY name in cycling for every "Fred" and "poseur", Armstrong still deserves tremendous credit for the magnificent job he has done in raising awareness for the fight against cancer.
As most people know, Armstrong is also a cancer survivor, having survived a battle with testicular cancer that rendered him a shadow of the athlete he had once been with only a 40% chance of survival. Upon his recovery and following his 7 successive Tour de France victories, Armstrong founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a non-profit organization designed to increase cancer awareness, raise funding, offer support networks for cancer patients and their families, and help local groups promote activities to help fight in the battle against cancer. Team Livestrong has become a visible symbol in the cancer fight for cyclists and non-cyclists alike.
Not only has Armstrong used his personal fame to battle cancer, but he has also contributed to cancer prevention by raising the profile of cycling as a means to greater fitness and health.
Studies show a correlation between cancer and weight gain. According to studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine, weight gain can raise your cancer risk by as much as 50%. Cycling, combined with a healthy diet, is a great way to reduce the risk of developing a myriad of cancers as well as a means to achieving overall good health. We owe it to our loved ones to be there for them when they need us and staying fit certainly helps.
If you know someone who is on the fence about buying a bike, it is time to take them riding.
My thoughts go out to "D" and "C" and their family during this difficult time and to other families going through a fight with this disease.