On Wednesday, October 2nd, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Prior to seeing my doctor last week, I had been experiencing swelling and pain in one of my testicles and had coughed up some blood. On Thursday, October 3rd, I underwent surgery at St. David's Hospital here in Austin to have the malignant testicle removed and the surgery was successful. A CT-Scan was also performed the same day. The CT-Scan revealed that my condition has spread into my lungs and abdomen. In terms of degrees of the disease, my condition is considered to be advanced and, thus, yesterday I began my first day of chemotherapy treatment.
I will undergo chemotherapy for at least nine weeks and then, depending on how I respond to the treatment, may have to undergo more chemotherapy or other procedures to fight this disease. I have the utmost faith in all the doctors with whom I am working and I am determined to fight this disease and to prevail. I would like to say a special thank you to the staff at St. David's hospital for making my stay there as comfortable as possible and for protecting my privacy until I was prepared to share this news with the press.
Due to this consideration, I have been able to speak with all of my sponsors, with Team Motorola, and with my new team, Team Cofidis, prior to this press conference.
My oncologist, Dr. Dudley J. Youman, was unable to be here today. However, he has told me that the cure rate for testicular cancer in the advanced stage is between 60% and 85%. Further, if I do beat this disease I have been assured that there is no reason that I cannot make a full and complete recovery.
For now, I must focus on my treatment. However, I want you all to know that I intend to beat this disease, and further, I intend to ride again as a professional cyclist. I am unable to say today when I will be back in the peloton but hold out hope that I might still participate in the 1997 season.
I want to finish by saying that I intend to be an avid spokesperson for testicular cancer once I have beaten the disease. Had I been more aware of the symptoms, I believe I would have seen a doctor before my condition had advanced to this stage. I want this to be a positive experience and I want to take this opportunity to help others who might someday suffer from the same circumstance I face today.
During the next few months, I will be undergoing my treatment and will be surrounded by my family and close friends. It will be a difficult time for me and I would appreciate that any press inquiries into my progress be communicated through my agent, Bill Stapleton. However, I will be available to answer your questions myself for the next few minutes. Thank you.
"I know I speak for all Motorola employees, as well as cycling enthusiasts around the world, in expressing sadness at learning of Lance's condition.
Lance has been inspirational in his professional cycling career on behalf of Motorola, always giving more than 100% to the sport and to his team. We know Lance will summon the same courage he has shown in the past to win this most recent personal challenge. Our prayers are with Lance, his mother, the Motorola Cycling Team and all of those who are close to Lance."
We now know that Lance is facing the biggest battle of his life, but knowing him as we do we feel sure that he will face this new challenge with all the strength of character that has made him one of the top cyclists in the World.
Lance's efforts to beat this illness and his desire to bring awareness to this form of cancer to men around the world reflect the courage of this young man to turn his situation into a positive one. We hope that we can help him raise the world wide understanding about this illness.