Greg LeMond has been diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, a type of cancer that affects the white blood cells and tends to progress slowly over many years.
The 60-year-old announced the news on his personal website on June 2, stating it is a type of leukemia that is not life-threatening or debilitating. LeMond confirmed he will start treatment this week in the USA.
“The purpose of this statement is to let you know I have been diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia,” LeMond’s statement reads.
“I had been experiencing a few weeks of fatigue which prompted me to go in for a check-up which included some blood work. Following a series of tests and a bone marrow biopsy, which was completed last week, I received my formal diagnosis last Friday (May 27). My doctors at the University of Tennessee, with consultation from a team at the Mayo Clinic, have outlined a chemotherapy protocol which will begin this week.”
Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia is caused by a genetic mutation in the stem cells produced by the bone marrow. The mutation causes the stems cells to produce too many underdeveloped white blood cells, and also leads to a reduction in red blood cells, too.
Despite the news, though, LeMond expressed his relief at finally finding an answer to his ill health. He also shared his positivity that, all being well, he should be in remission within a few months.
"No one ever wants to hear the word cancer but, admittedly, there is great relief, now, to know why I was feeling poorly. My doctors and I have decided on a treatment which will begin this week. I should be feeling better in a few weeks and for the near future, my daily schedule will be altered only a little and I have been told that in a few months, I should be in remission.
"The long-term prognosis is very favourable.
"I will keep everyone updated about my health and treatments in the months ahead," he added, "but for now, I believe I couldn’t be in better hands. I am excited about our plans ahead and I look forward to updating you all along the way."
The three-time Tour de France winner is the most decorated male cyclist in American history, and, in 1990, founded LeMond Bicycles while still riding professionally.
He had planned to attend the Tour in July, but will now follow the race from home as he instead focuses on improving his health and working on projects with his company.
“We have a great team at LeMond Bicycles who are being updated about my medical condition as we prepare this statement, and I am confident our work and plans for the near future will not be disrupted in any way,” he said.
“I will continue to participate in and support our plans for the summer months ahead. I had hoped to be in France in July for the Tour, but we are, now, working on an alternate plan so I can follow the Tour and engage with friends and teammates from our offices and farm in Tennessee. I will look forward to returning to the Tour next summer."
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