Cancer is a disease that touches us all. More than one million
Americans are diagnosed with cancer every year, making the odds
of cancer striking close to home pretty likely. No doubt you,
a family member or someone you know has been affected by cancer.
I'm proof that everyone is at risk for cancer.
I was a 25 year-old competitive bicyclist in prime condition
when I was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer. I had
been denying my symptoms for several months, blaming my soreness
and fatigue on my tough training. By the time I was diagnosed,
my cancer had spread to my lungs and brain, leaving me with
a very grim prognosis. The initial shock of this news paralyzed
me with fear, but not for long. I soon took charge of my disease
treatment the same way I would tackle a difficult racecourse.
I moved forward with brain surgery to remove two tumors, and
an aggressive course of chemotherapy, and regained control
to defeat my cancer. I returned to the sport I love, and two
years later I won the 1999 Tour de France international bicycle
As an athlete, I must know my competition. It's the same
with cancer. Knowing and recognizing the warning signs and
obtaining prompt medical attention can save your life. Learning
about your disease can help you manage, and live with your
illness. Building a relationship with your treatment team
can make you a player instead of a spectator.
I am no expert on cancer. I can't tell you everything you
need to know about your illness. I can, however, share with
you the strategy that worked for me in a language I know -
cycling - that is why I call this campaign the Cycle of Hope.
The information in this kit helped me regain control of my
body and turn my fears into hope. You don't have to be young
or an athlete to understand what it takes to help you battle
cancer and live with hope.
I attribute much of my success in beating cancer to educating
myself on my disease, and finding the right doctors and chemotherapy
regimen for me. My treatment included three drugs made by
Bristol-Myers Squibb -- the world's leader in cancer research
In 1996, in order to help others, I established the Lance
Armstrong Foundation, which is dedicated to helping people
manage and survive cancer. The Foundation funds scientific
research leading to better ways to detect and, eventually,
cure cancer. The Foundation and I have teamed up with Bristol-Myers
Squibb to educate people on the importance of early cancer
detection, the proper treatment, and hope - always hope -
no matter what the circumstances.
The materials found on this Web site are the fruits of that
partnership. I hope you and your family members find them
helpful. Regardless of where you are in the cycle of survivorship,
this information will help you turn your fears into hope,
making your race easier at every turn. When I say survivorship,
I mean living a comfortable and meaningful life regardless
of your diagnosis. As stated in the charter for the National
Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, the moment you are diagnosed
with cancer and for the rest of your life, you are a cancer
Cancer was not only the toughest opponent I've ever faced,
it has also been the best and most rewarding race I've ever
won. Good luck to each one of you.