A Winning Attitude Helped Olympic Athlete Fight Testicular Cancer

In June, 2008, young Olympic hopeful Eric Shanteau was diagnosed with testicular cancer, just days before the U.S. Olympic swim trials. Earlier that spring, Eric had suspected a problem, and with the encouragement of friends and family, he visited his health care provider at the age of 24.

Since Eric’s cancer was caught early due to his screening, perhaps even within the first weeks of appearing and had not spread, his doctors cleared him to compete in the trials. He persevered, winning a spot on the U.S. Olympic team in the 200-meter breaststroke. Receiving the chance of a lifetime, Eric competed alongside his teammates in Beijing, while inspiring them and millions of others around the world with his talent and courage. Eric did so knowing that when he returned home, he would undergo surgery to treat his cancer.

While many young men choose not to talk publicly about their cancer diagnosis, Eric has been a vocal advocate about prevention, sharing his experience with the media and partnering with groups like the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

“I am very proud to call myself a testicular cancer survivor and take on a role as a cancer awareness advocate. The biggest weapon we have in combating this disease is awareness. Early detection is essential in winning the fight against cancer,” said Eric Shanteau.

By doing so, Eric can reach and teach more men that early detection is critical in fighting and preventing cancer. Thanks to his commitment to the
Foundation, Eric is featured in our testicular cancer public service announcement. Eric is now back in the pool continuing his training— as well as continuing his work to raise awareness. Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer for 15 to 34 year-old men. It is also one of the most curable cancers, if discovered early. There are steps that men can take to reduce their risk, including self- exams, knowing their family history and talking with their health care providers. For more information visit www.preventcancer.org including risk factors, signs and symptoms of testicular cancer.