Celebrities with lymphomas

Andy Whitfield - Spartacus

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Spartacus actor Andy Whitfield, 26, was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In the year we’ve been blogging about “common diseases affecting uncommon people,” we’ve written about seven other public figures besides Mr. Whitfield that have cancers of the lymphoid system, including Hodgkin’s Disease. Now is a good opportunity to review and summarize the other cases and challenge our readers to tell us the differences between these two types of cancer and why these differences  matter.

We have reported multiple time on the struggles of Survivor’s Ethan Zohn, 35, who was treated for Hodgkin’s disease back in May 2009. Mr. Zohn had a relapse of his disease in September 2009 and became a self-proclaimed “bubble boy” during radiation therapy and a stem cell transplant. As of the last report in December 2009, he was again in remission, meaning that no cancer cells were detectable in his body.

In June 2009, Ventures‘ guitarist Bob Bogle passed away from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 75. In September 2009, America’s Got Talent contestant Barbara Padilla, 36,  revealed on the show that she is a survivor of Hodgkin’s Disease. In November 2009, it was announced that Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, 56, had come down with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma having been cured of Hodgkin’s Disease 26 years earlierat the age of 30.

In January 2010, we learned that Dexter actor Michael C. Hall, 39, was being treated for Hodgkin’s Disease.  Last month, February 2010, New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, 86, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma of the stomach following biopsy of an ulcer.

Name Age Type of Lymphoma
Andy Whitfield 26 non-Hodgkin’s
Bob Bogle 75 non-Hodgkin’s
Barbara Padilla 36 Hodgkin’s Disease
Ethan Zohn 35 Hodgkin’s Disease
Frank Lautenberg 86 non-Hodgkin’s
Michael C. Hall 39 Hodgkin’s Disease
Paul Allen 56 Hodgkin’s Disease (1983), non-Hodgkin’s (2009)

Now that we’ve summarized these cases of lymphoma, we challenge our readers to tell us the differences between these disease and why these differences matter.

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Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
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Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

1 Comment

  1. EMms

    November 12, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Well there are over 60 subtypes of lymphomas and unless you know exactly what subtype they have, you can’t compare. There are also gray zone lymphomas that have characteristics of both hodgkins and nonhodgkins.
    There are high grade and low grade lymphomas. We don’t have this information. Science is so advance we are now getting to a stage where cancer treatments are tailored to the individual disease. I am not sure what your point is in challenging your readers. It’s irresponsible.

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