Health & Fit Jeff Bridges Has Been Diagnosed With Lymphoma—Here Are the Symptoms to Know

20:55  20 october  2020
20:55  20 october  2020 Source:   prevention.com

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Jeff Bridges wearing a suit and tie: Jeff Bridges, 70, has lymphoma. While the disease is “serious,” his “prognosis is good.” Doctors explain lymphoma symptoms and how the cancer is treated. © Noel Vasquez - Getty Images Jeff Bridges, 70, has lymphoma. While the disease is “serious,” his “prognosis is good.” Doctors explain lymphoma symptoms and how the cancer is treated.
  • Jeff Bridges, 70, revealed that he has lymphoma.
  • The actor shared his diagnosis on social media. “Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good,” he wrote.
  • Doctors explain what lymphoma is, the symptoms to know, and how it is treated.

Actor Jeff Bridges shared surprising news with fans on social media Monday night: He has cancer. Bridges, 70, quoted his iconic Big Lebowski character Jeffrey Lebowski (a.k.a. the Dude) in his announcement.

Jeff Bridges is battling lymphoma. Here's what to know about the cancer.

  Jeff Bridges is battling lymphoma. Here's what to know about the cancer. The actor described the disease as "serious," but he added that his prognosis was good.Bridges, 70, said his prognosis was "good," adding that he was starting treatment. But he did not specify whether he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma or non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the two main subtypes of lymphoma.

“As the Dude would say... New S**T has come to light. I have been diagnosed with lymphoma,” he wrote on Twitter and Instagram. “Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good. I’m starting treatment and will keep you posted on my recovery.” Bridges later said that he was “profoundly grateful” for the support he’s received.

The actor didn’t offer up any more details about his diagnosis and treatment, but it’s understandable that you might have questions about lymphoma, its symptoms, and what treatment looks like. Aheads, doctors explain what you need to know about this form of cancer.

What is lymphoma, exactly?

Lymphoma is cancer that begins to form in immune system cells, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). There are many forms of lymphoma, but they can generally be broken into two basic categories: Hodgkin lymphoma, which is determined by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell, and non-Hodgkin lymphomas, which includes a large group of cancers of immune system cells.

While Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas are both cancers of the lymphatic system (the network of tissues and organs that eliminate toxins and waste from your body), they “are two totally different diseases,” says Jack Jacoub, M.D., medical oncologist and medical director of MemorialCare Cancer Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif. That said, “they have a lot of similarities.”

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Both lymphomas can happen in children and adults, and the prognosis and treatment usually depend on the type of cancer and how far it has progressed.

Gallery: These Are the Warning Signs of Lymphoma You Need to Know (Best Life)

Jeff Bridges wearing a suit and tie: Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges, best known for his portrayal of The Dude in The Big Lebowski, announced on Oct. 19 that he has been diagnosed with lymphoma. He did not specify in his announcement whether it was Hodgkin's lymphoma or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, but he told his Twitter followers that

What are the symptoms of lymphoma?

The symptoms are slightly different, depending on the type of lymphoma. These are the main symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS):

  • An enlarged lymph node, that appears as a lump in the neck, under the arm, or in the groin. The lump might get bigger over time, or new lumps might appear near it or in other parts of the body.
  • Fever
  • Drenching night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Itching skin
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cough
  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest pain

The ACS says the following are the main symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue (feeling very tired)
  • Swollen abdomen (belly)
  • Feeling full after only a small amount of food
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Shortness of breath or cough
  • Severe or frequent infections
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Fever
  • Drenching night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss

In general, enlarged lymph nodes are one of the most common symptoms of lymphoma, says David Bond, M.D., a hematologist who specializes in lymphoma at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. “For some types of lymphoma which tend to be slower growing, the diagnosis may be made incidentally during the course of care or testing for other medical conditions,” he says.

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How is lymphoma treated?

In general, yes. “Hodgkin lymphoma is a highly curable illness—even in the advanced stages it can be cured,” Dr. Jacoub says. With non-Hodgkin lymphomas, patients can be cured, but it’s often more likely that someone will be put into remission (meaning their symptoms are partially or completely gone), he says. “People can live decades after a diagnosis,” Dr. Jacoub says.

Treatment varies depending on the type of lymphoma a patient has but chemotherapy and radiation are a typical course of action, the ACS says. “There has been remarkable progress in terms of new treatments, which are available for many specific types of lymphoma,” Dr. Bond says.

Lymphoma is still a rare form of cancer, which is why it’s important to be treated by a specialist, according to Henry Fung, M.D., chair of the Department of Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapies at Fox Chase Cancer Center. “They will make an accurate diagnosis, staging, and formulate a best individualized plan for the patient,” he says.

Bridges seems optimistic about his recovery, and even used his announcement for an important reminder. “Thank you for your prayers and well wishes,” he wrote. “And, while I have you, please remember to go vote. Because we are all in this together.”

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