All-star athletes with diseases
Even the most elite athletes — who keep their bodies in top shape for a living — are not immune to health problems. While you may know the famous face, you might not be as familiar with the health condition that affects his or her body.
Use Bing to discover the ailments these athletic stars have suffered from or are dealing with today.
--By Pamela Boyd, MSN Healthy Living
The NBA’s all-time leading scorer was diagnosed with this rare form of cancer in 2008 after experiencing hot flashes and sweats. When he went public with the disease in 2009, he told ABC News that he initially thought the diagnosis “was definitely a death sentence.” Prior to 2001, the average life expectancy for a patient after diagnosis was three to five years. Today, patients can expect a normal lifespan as long as they continue treatment.
Bing: What was Kareem's diagnosis?
Search: Treatment options for the disease
Find: How many people are newly diagnosed with the disease in the U.S. each year, according to the National Cancer Institute?
By the time Muhammad Ali was in the final stages of his magnificent boxing career (how long was it?), he was slurring his words. Not long after, he was diagnosed with this disease, which is characterized by increasingly severe tremors, periodically stiff or frozen limbs and changes in speech and gait, caused by gradual loss of brain cells that produce dopamine, a chemical that is key to controlling muscle movement. There is no known cure, and there is little known about what causes the disease.
The disgraced Tour de France champion told Oprah Winfrey he doesn’t believe doping caused him to develop this type of cancer in 1996. It is the most common cancer in men ages 15 to 34 (how old was Armstrong when he was diagnosed?), and when detected early, its curability rate is 90 percent.
The former Baltimore Ravens linebacker won a Super Bowl in 2001 but is now confined to a wheelchair after being diagnosed with this incurable neuromuscular disease in 2007. Another common name for the disease references this beloved Hall of Fame baseball player, whose career and life were cut short by it. While the disease weakens and eventually paralyzes the body, it does not impact the mind. There is no known cure.
The Chicago Bears quarterback played two years in the NFL before realizing he had this disease, which usually affects children and young adults. He now controls the disease, diagnosed in April 2008, by carefully planning his food intake. Though this can be challenging on game days, managing his condition helped Cutler post career-high numbers that season with the Denver Broncos before being traded to Chicago the following year.
The Angels-turned-Dodgers pitcher took seven months away from major league baseball in 2006 due to this disorder, for which he continues to be treated. People who have this disorder can have an excessive fear of making mistakes, being judged or criticized and being embarrassed or humiliated in front of others.
After surviving testicular cancer in 1997, the champion ice skater and Olympic gold medalist underwent surgery in 2010 for an unrelated and rare yet noncancerous condition that threatened to take away his vision. He was first diagnosed in 2004 and previously opted to treat it with a noninvasive but risky procedure (what is it?) that can cause brain damage if it is not performed perfectly. This condition most commonly affects children ages 5 to 10 but can also affect adults.
This neurological disorder, which afflicts U.S. National Soccer team goalkeeper Tim Howard, is best known in popular culture for its association with uncontrollable outbursts of obscenities, but that symptom is a rare one. More common tics include abrupt movements and repetitive sounds, such as barking, sniffing or throat-clearing. In 2005, Howard told “60 Minutes” that he has controlled his condition through sheer willpower since he was a child.
Before he was overshadowed by the Kardashian clan, Bruce Jenner was famous in his own right as a gold medalist (which event?) in the 1976 Summer Olympics (watch clips of him competing). Although he was once a poster boy (see his Wheaties box) for good health, Jenner now suffers from this common condition, which has forced him to give up hobbies including tennis and running. Though the condition is a normal result of aging, it can be particularly common among people who play sports.