Nathan Adrian made his Olympic debut at the 2008 game in Beijing, China, where he won his first Olympic gold as a member of Team USA’s 4×100 meter freestyle relay team.

Fast forward to the 2012 Olympic games in London, Adrian won two more gold medals and a silver before competing again in Rio during the 2016 Olympic games, where he won his fourth and fifth gold medals and two bronze medals.

And over the last two and a half years, Adrian has been training to compete in Tokyo 2020, his fourth Olympic games.

Sadly, his training has come to a halt after learning some devastating health news.

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Life, like swimming the 100 free, can come at you hard and fast as you can’t always see who, or what, may be chasing you down. Recently, I went to the doctor as something didn’t seem quite right. At the very least, I still needed to get my flu shot so it couldn’t hurt. After a few tests and visits with a specialist, I unfortunately learned that I have Testicular Cancer. On the bright side, we caught it early, I have already started treatment and the prognosis is good. I will be back in the water in a few short weeks with my sights fully set on Tokyo! Along the way, I hope to share my journey in an effort to help break the stigma of discussing men’s health issues. I’ve realized that too often we tend to avoid these important topics, ignore the potential warning signs, and put off getting the medical help that we may need. As I told my family, I’ll be putting my public health degree to work a little sooner than I planned! But in all seriousness, I am keeping a positive attitude as cases such as mine are curable. I am extremely grateful for my family and friends, especially my wife, for their love and support. I am scheduled for surgery early next week and will provide an update soon. #menshealth #testicularcancer #standuptocancer

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In an Instagram post vowing to come back stronger than ever, Adrian — alongside his wife —revealed that after seeking medical attention “when something didn’t seem quite right,” he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

He wrote:

Life, like swimming the 100 free, can come at you hard and fast as you can’t always see who, or what, may be chasing you down. Recently, I went to the doctor as something didn’t seem quite right. At the very least, I still needed to get my flu shot so it couldn’t hurt. After a few tests and visits with a specialist, I unfortunately learned that I have Testicular Cancer. On the bright side, we caught it early, I have already started treatment and the prognosis is good.

After already starting treatment to beat the cancer, Adrian added that he hopes to be back in the pool in only a few short weeks:

I will be back in the water in a few short weeks with my sights fully set on Tokyo! Along the way, I hope to share my journey in an effort to help break the stigma of discussing men’s health issues. I’ve realized that too often we tend to avoid these important topics, ignore the potential warning signs, and put off getting the medical help that we may need. As I told my family, I’ll be putting my public health degree to work a little sooner than I planned! But in all seriousness, I am keeping a positive attitude as cases such as mine are curable. I am extremely grateful for my family and friends, especially my wife, for their love and support. I am scheduled for surgery early next week and will provide an update soon.

His wife, Hallie, also added a few words of her own.

She vowed that while “in sickness and in health came sooner than they expected,” she promised to love him “now and always”:

As many of you probably saw from Nathan’s post, “in sickness and in health” came a bit sooner for us than anticipated. Shortly after his 30th birthday, Nathan was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer and since then it’s been a whirlwind of doctor appointments, cat scans and surgery. We are so thankful that the prognosis is good and are hopeful that his next surgery (scheduled for this Monday) will be curative. Thank you to everyone for all of the love and support and thank you Nathan Adrian for being you! Your positivity and strength during this time is more impressive to me than any medal you could ever win. I love you now and always!

According to the Mayo Clinic, testicular cancer is very rare. However, it is seen most commonly in males between the ages of 15 and 35:

As the Mayo Clinic reports, signs and symptoms of testicular cancer include:

  • A lump or enlargement in either testicle
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
  • Back pain

Although there are no ways to prevent testicular cancer from happening, there are examinations doctors can perform to help their patients know.

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