Did Armstrong Drug Use Give Him Cancer?

Say it ain't so, Lance
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2012 3:48 PM CDT
In this Feb. 15, 2011, file photo, Lance Armstrong pauses during an interview in Austin, Texas.   (AP Photo/Thao Nguyen, File)
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(Newser) – So Lance Armstrong probably cheated to battle back from his cancer diagnosis in 1996—that only leveled the playing field with other cyclists. But what if steroid use gave him that cancer in the first place? "I don’t think any part of his public reputation would survive if it turns out that his disease itself was a product of pre-comeback doping," writes Shayana Kadidal at Global Post. And it's quite possible, she argues: Steroids and human growth hormone are known to cause cancer.

Steroid-using ballplayer Jeremy Giambi, for example, got a rare kind of pituitary cancer that's been seen in weightlifters on 'roids. But after Armstrong's return to cycling, he would have used blood transfusions and safer PEDs that don't cause cancer. "It raises what I think is really the most important question in Armstrong’s case," writes Kadidal. "Did abuse of the steroid drugs whose use was rampant in cycling in the 1980s and early 1990s cause the cancer that ultimately made Armstrong into a global celebrity, and into an heroic figure in the eyes of the global cancer community?"

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