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Olympic Swimmer Eric Shanteau Undergoes Surgery for Testicular Cancer

Eric Shanteau had surgery Wednesday to remove a cancerous testicle after fulfilling his goal of swimming in the Olympics.

The 24-year-old breaststroker underwent the operation at Emory University Hospital, said his agent, Evan Morgenstein.

Shanteau, who grew up in suburban Atlanta, was diagnosed with cancer in June, shortly before the U.S. Olympic trials. Even though doctors normally would perform immediate surgery, he was cleared to compete.

Improbably, Shanteau made his first Olympic team, beating out former world record holder Brendan Hansen in the 200-meter breaststroke. That left Shanteau with a difficult choice: have surgery and give up on competing in Beijing, or put off treatment until after the Olympics and risk the cancer spreading in the month before the games.

Shanteau chose the Olympics after coming up with an unorthodox plan to monitor the disease with a battery of tests.

He vowed to quit the team if his cancer showed any signs of spreading. The tests showed it remained in a confined area.

Shanteau failed to advance past the semifinals of his only Olympic event, but his willingness to go public with the illness made him a rallying point for cancer victims around the world.

Morgenstein said doctors should have final results of the surgery by Friday.

Testicular cancer has a high rate of recovery if caught early.