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Athletes Who Survived Cancer

Updated September 6, 2019 30.1k views31 items

Which athletes fought a battle with cancer and survived? Several famous NFL players, golfers, and Olympians have survived cancer. Some of these athletes were diagnosed with cancer during their professional careers, while others were diagnosed after they retired. One famous Olympian competed in a qualifying meet just one week after being diagnosed with cancer! 

Who is the most famous athlete who survived cancer? Lance Armstrong tops our list. Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer in 1996. The cancer had spread to his brain, lungs and abdomen, but with treatment, Armstrong was declared to be in remission by February of 1997. Martina Navratilova announced that she was being treated for breast cancer in 2010. She had the tumor removed and was also treated with radiation.

Eric Shanteau was diagnosed with testicular cancer in July 2008. One week later, he earned himself a spot in the 2008 Summer Olympics where he placed a personal best time. After the Olympics, he had surgery to remove his testicle. He is now cancer free. Shannon Miller announced that she had been diagnosed with germ cell ovarian cancer in 2011. She underwent chemotherapy and by the end of the year, she was cancer free.

Are you surprised that so many famous athletes have survived cancer? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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  • Photo: Malcolm W. Emmons / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
    Johnny Unitas reportedly faced prostate cancer during his life. He died as the result of heart failure on Sept. 11, 2002.

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    • Photo: Hans van Dijk / Wikimedia Commons / CC0 1.0
      Martina Navratilova announced that she was being treated for breast cancer in 2010. She had the tumor removed and was also treated with radiation.

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      • Shannon Miller announced that she had been diagnosed with germ cell ovarian cancer in 2011. She underwent chemotherapy and by the end of the year, she was cancer free.
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