Jim Carrey on His Famous Beard & Leaving the Spotlight
Celebrities Put Testicular Cancer in the Spotlight
You might not think that bicyclist Lance Armstrong and comedian Tom Green have much in common, but they've both fought, and overcome, testicular cancer.
By Melanie Winderlich
Medically Reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
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Cancer affects everyone, from your average Joe to Hollywood's elite. And because testicular cancer is the most common cancer affecting American men ages 15 to 34, some of those patients include famous athletes, actors, and other men living in the public eye.
Testicular Cancer Awareness: Lance Armstrong
Perhaps one of the best-known survivors and spokesmen about testicular cancer is Lance Armstrong. Before his bout with testicular cancer, Armstrong was famous for his cycling skills and athleticism, including his Tour de France and other racing victories. In 1996, Armstrong was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer that had spread to his brain, lungs, and abdomen. After undergoing aggressive treatment, Armstrong went on to create the Lance Armstrong Foundation and eventually overcame testicular cancer.
The Lance Armstrong Foundation's focus is to "live strong," helping people affected by cancer and investing in survivorship research. The organization has raised more than 0 million to invest in programs that support cancer survivors. Through lucrative fundraising and publicity efforts — like selling more than 55 million yellow LiveStrong wristbands — Armstrong has brought cancer awareness to the forefront of everyday life for policymakers, donors, researchers, and everyone affected by cancer.
Testicular Cancer Awareness: Scott Hamilton
Scott Hamilton, an Olympic gold medalist, is a famous figure skater. At the age of 38, in 1997, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and fought the disease in the spotlight. After undergoing 12 weeks of chemotherapy and a successful surgery, he overcame his cancer.
Hamilton helped found the Scott Hamilton CARES Inititative (Cancer Alliance for Research, Education, and Survivorship) with the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center, where he was treated for his testicular cancer. CARES works to advance cancer research and promote quality care for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers. One aspect of the program matches newly diagnosed cancer patients with cancer survivors — offering hope and a feeling of empowerment. Since its inception, the Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative has raised more than million for cancer research and education.
Testicular Cancer Awareness: Other Celebrities
Not all celebrities choose to deal with their cancer in the public eye, but there are a few that have been open about their testicular cancer diagnosis and treatments, raising awareness about the illness.
- Tom Green.In the 1990s, this Canadian-born comedian was well-known to MTV audiences for his outrageous pranks and odd brand of humor. However, he got even more media attention after he made his testicular cancer diagnosis public knowledge in 2000 and created a 60-minute documentary, "Tom Green Cancer Special," about his own cancer battle. He even sang an original song reminding men to perform regular self-exams on their testicles.
- Steve Scott.This world-class runner was diagnosed with testicular cancer at age 38, when he discovered a hardened lump in his testicle. Told he had a very serious form of cancer, Scott underwent multiple surgeries. Scott's autobiography,The Miler, talks about his cancer scare and the importance of living a healthy life and performing regular self-exams.
- Josh Bidwell.After noticing a lump in his testicles, the NFL punter was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 23 in 1999. Because his cancer was so aggressive, Bidwell had four months of chemotherapy. A few years later, while punting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bidwell started his own foundation to donate money to various causes, including the Community Cancer Center in his home state of Oregon.
Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer, with a high survival rate if caught early. Celebrities like these can raise awareness about the condition and how to spot the warning signs.
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