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Is it harder to spot early cancer in triathletes?

A mate of mine competed in two half irons last year within 2 months. Following the second he got stomach cramps.....Diagnosis - primary bowel and secondary liver cancer and very far gone. No symptoms prior and the consultant said that in very physically fit people it can often become apparent only when it's too late. Has anyone got any insight into this and whether physically fit people need to consider additional tests? He was only 47 and they don't test for bowel until you're 50.


  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    Saddened by what has happened to your friend

    I think the consultant may have a point but but with some caveats. There are so many cancers and they effect the body in so many ways. We are also different from each other, have different pain thresholds and attitudes to aches, pains, tiredness etc

    One hyper fit friend of mine had stomach aches but ignored them as training was hard and discomfort was part of the deal. He was a hard man. The signs were there but he chose to ignored them as anything significant

    Another very fit and active friend had symptoms you would normally associate with anaemia. It took two years to diagnose myelomas. Treatment got him a few years more

    A local runner had abdominal pains. Got diagnosis and treatment. Running again.

    Fellow club runner was treated by the local hospital for asthma. Turned out he had a massive tumour growing in his windpipe and into his carotid. Emergency surgery saved him. Got back to running

    I've heard it said you are most likely to die with prostate or bowel cancer than of it. Looking at a list of possible signs of a heart attack I realised I'd had most of them in the previous few days

    So no definitive conclusions but we need to be aware when things aren't right. Training can and should be hard and challenging but mixed with easier recovery sessions; if those aches and pains don't diminish then we need to ask why
  • GaljaardGaljaard Posts: 2
    Thanks for your thoughts. I guess we all need to be aware of what our body could be telling us and respond accordingly as well as taking up regular health checks recognising that we sometimes 'train through it'
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