“Survivor” star Ethan Zohn, 37, told People magazine that he is once again fighting Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Zohn, who won “Survivor: Africa,” told People that he had been in remission from the cancer for almost two years until September, when he learned his cancer had returned. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a treatable cancer that targets the immune system.
Studies suggest 10 to 15 percent of people with early stages of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and 30 to 40 percent of those treated for later stages of the disease experience recurrence.
“It’s localized in my lung area,” Zohn, 37, said. “But it’s good that it’s not all over my body.”
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is most common in people ages 15 to 35 and people over the age of 55. It’s also more common in people with a family history of the disease, as well as men, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Nearly 9,000 people will be diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the U.S. in 2011, and an estimated 1,300 will die from the disease. Symptoms of the cancer include an enlarged spleen, lymph nodes, as well as weight loss, fever, fatigue and night sweats, according to the National Cancer Institute.
In October, Zohn began a new form of chemotherapy called SGN-35. This type of therapy targets cancer cells only, leaving most of the healthier cells intact. People reported that after 12 weeks of treatment, Zohn will undergo another stem-cell transplant from one of his two brothers.
“But the doctors won’t tell me which one. They didn’t want me to start treating one differently than the other,” Zohn told People. “Of course my whole family is taking bets on who it is.”