Actress Jane Fonda announced Friday that she has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a treatable form of lymphatic system cancer, and that she will be treated with chemotherapy for six months.
She wrote in a post on her Instagram account. “I feel very lucky.”
Fonda, 84 years old, a lavishly decorated star who has long been a activist for social causealso wrote in her Instagram post that she feels lucky to have health insurance as well as “access to the best doctors and treatments”.
“I realized, and painfully, that I was privileged in this,” she said. “Almost every family in America has faced cancer at one time or another and too many people do not have access to the quality health care that I am receiving and this is not true. “
Fonda is a two-time Academy Award winner for her performances in “Klute” and “Coming Home.” She has also worked as a producer, documentary writer and activist. In 2019 she was arrested many times after organizing protests in Washington to highlight the urgency of the climate crisis.
Dr. Matthew Matasar, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center who specializes in the disease, said non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the fifth most common cancer in the US. The National Cancer Institute estimates that there will be more than 80,000 new cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma this year.
“There are actually more than 100 different types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but the defining feature of the disease is that it develops in immune cells,” said Dr. Matasar.
Leonidas Platanias, director of the Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern Medicine, said people aged 60 and older are more likely to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and the earlier it is detected, the better a person’s chance of survival. high.
While it’s not clear what Ms Fonda was diagnosed with, all types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma are treatable and some patients even go into long-term remission. “It’s not a death sentence,” said Dr. William Dahut, chief scientific officer of the American Cancer Society.
Symptoms of untreated non-Hodgkin lymphoma may include pain, night sweats, weight loss, swelling, and fever, although some types of lymphoma may be asymptomatic and detected performed “accidentally when doing tests for other purposes,” Dr. Matasar said.
Dr. Dahut said the severity of the disease depends on where the lymphoma originated. If it starts in the brain, the prognosis is worse. Results are better if it is localized to a single lymph node. Underlying health problems can complicate a patient’s response to chemotherapy, especially for older people. But, “some people have a very, very good prognosis,” he said.
“I am on chemotherapy for 6 months and am handling the treatments pretty well,” Fonda wrote in her post, “and trust me, I won’t let anything interfere with the operation. its climate”.