33 Athletes Who Survived Cancer

Which athletes fought a battle with cancer and survived? Several famous 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.

Lance Armstrong

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.

Stan Musial

Stan Musial survived prostate cancer in 1989. He died of natural causes on Jan. 19, 2013 at the age of 92.

Jim Boeheim

Jim Boeheim fought prostate cancer in 2001. He has since worked with the non-profit Coaches vs. Cancer and founded the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation to support cancer research and treatment.

Jim Calhoun

Jim Calhoun announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003. In 2008, he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. He currently in good heath, living in Madison, Connecticut with his wife of over 40 years.

Johnny Unitas

Johnny Unitas reportedly faced prostate cancer during his life. He died as the result of heart failure on Sept. 11, 2002.

Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova announced that she was being treated for breast cancer in 2010. She had the tumor removed and was also treated with radiation.

Shannon Miller

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.

John Kruk

In 1994, John Kruk was diagnosed with testicular cancer after his protective cup was broken by an errant pickoff throw. He had the testicle removed and is now cancer free.

George Karl

In 2005, it was announced that George Karl had prostate cancer. He underwent treatment as is doing well. His son Coby Karl is a thyroid cancer survivor.

Marv Levy

Marv Levy underwent surgery for prostate cancer in 1995.

Mario Lemieux

Mario Lemieux was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1993. Radiation treatments proved to be successful in fighting the disease.

Joe Torre

Joe Torre was treated for prostate cancer in 1999.

Eric Shanteau

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.

Eric Davis

Eric Davis was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1997. He took very little time off to undergo treatment.

Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer was treated for prostate cancer when he was in this late-sixties. He says, “You can have all the things in the world you want, but being healthy is the good life.”

Dorothy Hamill

Dorothy Hamill announced that she was being treated for breast cancer in 2008. Since recovering from the disease, she has become an advocate for a plant-based diet.

Peggy Fleming

Peggy Fleming was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998. She underwent a successful surgery to remove the tumor.

Phil Kessel

It was announced Phil Kessel was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2006. He only missed 11 regular season games while receiving treatment.

Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson underwent treatment for prostate cancer. He now works as an advocate for early detection.

Ken Venturi

Ken Venturi was treated for cancer in the late-1990s. He died due to complications with various infections on May 17, 2013.

Len Dawson

Len Dawson survived prostate cancer in 1991. He now encourages men to get screened by their doctors regularly.

Steve Garvey

Steve Garvey was treated for prostate cancer in 2012.

Mike Lowell

Mike Lowell missed two months of the 1999 season while he underwent treatment for testicular cancer. He went on to make a full recovery and became a two-time World Series Champion.

Billy Mayfair

Billy Mayfair was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2006. He underwent surgery and is reportedly in good heath today.

Leon Hart

Leon Hart underwent treatment for prostate cancer. He died of heart failure on Sept. 24, 2002.

Josh Bidwell

Josh Bidwell was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1999. He underwent treatment and went on to have a successful career in the NFL.

Hayden Fry

Hayden Fry kept his 1998 prostate cancer diagnosis a secret while he underwent treatment. He is currently cancer free.

Doug Moe

Doug Moe overcame a battle with prostate cancer.

Mickey Wright

Mickey Wright is a breast cancer survivor.

Pete Newell

Pete Newell survived lung cancer in 2005. He died on Nov. 17, 2008 at the age of 93.

Edna Campbell

Edna Campbell was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. She continued to play in the WNBA despite her illness and became the WNBA’s national spokesperson for its anti-cancer efforts.