Share on PinterestJane Fonda announced she has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Christina House / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
- The actress and activist Jane Fonda announced she has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- This is a type of blood cancer that affects the body’s immune cells.
- There are numerous forms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, with ‘high-grade’ being the more common and treatable.
- Treatments have relatively good success rates, and new therapies continue to emerge.
This month Jane Fonda, the Oscar-winning actress, and activist, announced she has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), a type of cancer.
Fonda, 84, shared the news in a post on her Instagram account.
“So, my dear friends, I have something personal I want to share,” she wrote. “I’ve been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and have started chemo treatments.”
However, her outlook was positive. “This is a very treatable cancer,” she continued. “80% of people survive, so I feel very lucky.”
According to the American Cancer Society, NHL is a common cancer in the US — accounting for 4% of all cases. The group estimates that in 2022 around 80,500 adults and children will be diagnosed with the disease.
This isn’t Fonda’s first experience with cancer. She has previously spoken of having skin cancers removed, along with a non-cancerous tumor in her breast (before having a mastectomy several years later).
“NHL is a cancer of one of your immune cells, lymphocytes. It’s one of your blood cells, and their normal function is to fight infection,” Dr. Dima El-Sharkawi, consultant hematologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London, told Healthline.
However, there’s not just one type of NHL.
“When we say NHL, that’s a pretty wide umbrella,” Dr. Guillermo de Angulo, pediatric hematologist/oncologist at KIDZ Medical Services in Florida, explained to Healthline.
“It could be anything from a B cell lymphoma or a T cell lymphoma to a Burkitt’s lymphoma or what we call anaplastic large cell,” he continued.
El-Sharkawi added that most NHL cases are B cell lymphomas — and “broadly speaking, they can be high-grade or low-grade.”
High-grade lymphomas, she shared, involve more rapid cell turnover. As such, patients typically present as more unwell and with a greater number of symptoms.
On the other hand, low-grade lymphomas grow at a slower …….