Mark Hoppus Fights Cancer
- Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus recently shared his cancer diagnosis with the world.
- He’s battling the same type of lymphoma his mom had, Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Stage IV-A.
- Focusing on the good and maintaining perspective while going through cancer treatment can help.
Hoppus has been continually sharing updates and we love the vulnerability and inspiring openness he’s showing when it comes to his disease.Read More
Hoppus shared that his mom, who battled the same type of cancer as her son, has been supportive throughout his cancer journey.
What Is Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma?
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, usually found in the lymph nodes. There are many specific types of NHL, and Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) is one of them. About 1 in 5 people with NHL have the diffuse large B-cell variety, making it the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the United States. This is a fast-growing cancer, but when caught early, treatment success rates are high. According to the Lymphoma Research Foundation, more than 18,000 people are diagnosed with DLBCL each year.
Dr. Stephen Schuster, medical oncologist at Penn Medicine, explained the standard treatment for DLBCL to SurvivorNet in an earlier interview.
The standard treatment is a combination of four drugs that doctors nickname R-CHOP — the chemotherapy drugs cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and vincristine plus the steroid prednisone — which has been around since the 1970s. Added to that is the newer monoclonal antibody rituximab (Rituxan), which targets a specific protein called CD20 on the surface of cancer cells. Sometimes an additional chemotherapy drug, etoposide (Vepesid, Toposar, Etopophos), is added to the R-CHOP regimen, resulting in a drug combination called R-CHOEP.
Side effects are a reality with any type of cancer treatment, and R-CHOP is no different. Chemotherapy indiscriminately kills quickly dividing cells, and sometimes healthy cells can get caught up and destroyed too.
Hair loss is one of the most noticeable side effects from chemotherapy, but your hair should grow back soon after you finish treatment. Other common side effects include:
Nausea and vomiting
Shortness of breath
Bruising and bleeding
An increased risk of infection
For patients in whom the disease no longer responds to treatment) or relapses (returns after treatment), there are secondary options. High dose chemotherapy coupled with stem cell transplantation may be recommended. Hoppus shared with fans previously that he’s going to beat his cancer with chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplant. A bone marrow transplant – which can also be called a “stem cell transplant” – is a type of procedure that can be used to treat certain kinds of cancer. Stem cells mostly live in the bone marrow, the spongy core of the bones, and they create red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. These stem cells can mature into any type of blood cell, making them a viable treatment path for some cancers.
Coping With a Cancer Diagnosis
People fighting cancer may benefit from speaking with an oncological social worker, to help them process what is going on, and get the emotional, financial, and logistical support they’ll need while fighting cancer. In an earlier interview, social worker Sarah Stapleton explains her function for cancer fighters. “I think it’s super important to see a social worker,” she says, “I think there’s a networking that they can assist you with.”
“And they really have the strongest knowledge of the resources available to get you through the process. It’s meeting the patient and understanding the patient’s needs and understanding what it is you need in this very moment, whether that be financial resources, whether it be related to your insurance, transportation, or ultimately, the emotional process of getting through cancer treatment,” says Stapleton.
Staying Positive Through Cancer
Hoppus clearly has a great sense of humor and lightness about him – as he often reveals online in his Tweets – which can help during the cancer battle. Focusing on the good and maintaining perspective while going through cancer treatment can help.
Cedars-Sinai colorectal surgeon Dr. Zuri Murrell says in an earlier interview that patients with a positive outlook can have a better prognosis sometimes. He says, “My patients who thrive, even with stage 4 cancer, from the time that they, about a month after they’re diagnosed, I kind of am pretty good at seeing who is going to be OK.”
“Now doesn’t that mean I’m good at saying that the cancer won’t grow,” says Dr. Murrell. “But I’m pretty good at telling what kind of patient are going to still have this attitude and probably going to live the longest, even with bad, bad disease. And those are patients who, they have gratitude in life.”