jane fonda, one of hollywood’s most enduring stars, has revealed on instagram that she’s been diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma — “a very treatable cancer. 80 per cent of people survive, so i feel very lucky.”
fonda was at a higher risk for lymphoma because of her age, people magazine reports , as risk for all cancers increases for anyone over the age of 60. and while she’s always been committed to a healthy lifestyle, she writes on instagram, “the cancer, along with my age — almost 85 — definitely teaches the importance of adapting to new realities.”
non-hodgkin’s lymphoma (nhl) is a blood cancer; it’s the fifth most common cancer in canada, according to lymphoma canada , with about 11,000 people diagnosed each year. men are diagnosed slightly more often than women, and while nhl can develop in children and young adults, most people diagnosed are 50 and older.
of the estimated 11,000 people diagnosed, about 3,000 people will die, says the canadian cancer society .
reasons for developing the cancer are not known, but people with a weakened immune system or possible chemical exposure from benzene or certain pesticides or herbicides are at higher risk. also, infection with the bacteria helicobacter pylori, which may cause stomach ulcers, can increase the risk of developing lymphoma in the stomach lining.
depending on the exact type and stage of cancer, treatment can involve chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted drug therapy, surgery, bone marrow transplant and engineering immune cells, according to the mayo clinic .
while the number of new cases of nhl has been going up since the early 1980s, the rate of death has been going down since 1999, says cancer care ontario . survival is cited as average compared with other cancers. about 68 per cent of people diagnosed will survive for at least five years.
for more information about non-hodgkin’s lymphoma visit cancer care ontario to read guidelines on managing symptoms, side effects and overall well-being. and lymphoma canada provides outreach, education as well as the opportunity to connect with other patients and families and friends.