Do pro athletes get cancer?

Pro athletes are healthy, but they’re also typically very young, often in their early to mid 20s, at which age cancer is very rare in almost any population (less than 1% of cancers are seen in this age group).  On top of that, most people are pro athletes only for a brief time before injuries or competition force them out, so there’s only a brief period when they could both have cancer and be a pro athlete.

In spite of that I can easily think of a fair number of athletes who had cancer.  Lance Armstrong may be the most famous.  I know baseball better than other sports, and  just off the top of my head I can think of Jon Lester, Andres Galarraga, Dave Dravecky, Mike Lowell, Mark Loretta, Daryl Strawberry, Derek Lowe, and John Kruk, all of whom had cancer during their playing careers; I’m sure there are many more. 

The question details say “They eat very nutritious diets, exercise constantly, and sweat on a daily basis. Some research suggestion that these type of activities help to reduce the cause of cancer“.  I wish people would get this sort of crap out of their heads.  It’s wishful thinking and victim-blaming.  It’s like telling people with cancer that it’s their own fault for not eating better or “sweating on a daily basis”, whatever that’s supposed to mean.  People get cancer for many, many reasons, and though it’s true exercise and healthy diet can somewhat reduce cancer risk it’s a much more minor factor than people seem to think. 

Cancer isn’t retribution for not eating enough spinach.  It’s a disease that anyone can get.

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