- FOX reporter Amanda Salas was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in June 2019. But now she’s happily been in remission for more than two-and-a-half years and determined to give back to other lymphoma warriors.
- Salas just received a third award from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for her efforts in fundraising.
- Early symptoms of lymphoma can be tricky to notice as they may include swollen lymph nodes, fatigue or unexplained weight loss.
Salas was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in June 2019. And after completing six rounds of 24-hour chemotherapy five days a week for treatment, the 36-year-old Hollywood reporter is over two-and-a-half years in remission.Read More
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“A lot of you know that when I was lying in my hospital bed in 2019… I was staring up at the fluorescent light, and closed my eyes whispering to God ‘if you give me a 2nd chance at life, I promise to help others going through this,'” she wrote in her caption. “2.5 years later I have raised over $65k dollars for @llsusa, have become a board member for @llsgreaterla, worked with @cityofhope for awareness and health equity for all, and continually talk about the importance of donating blood.”
She then went on to explain how important it was for her to keep her promise.
“There are many ways to help others, and as survivors we have a responsibility and privilege to pay it forward in helping someone else get through it,” she wrote. “THANK YOU to everyone who has donated and supported me throughout the years, it honestly means the world to me. I promise.”
Understanding Amanda Salas’ Cancer
Lymphoma, in general, is a type of blood cancer. Blood cancers can affect the bone marrow, blood cells, lymph nodes and other parts of the lymphatic system. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society reports that every 3 minutes, one person in the U.S. is diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma.
More specifically, lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system that begins in the white blood cells called lymphocytes. Lymphoma begins when lymphocytes develop a genetic mutation that makes them multiply much faster than normal. This mutation also forces older cells that would normally die to stay alive. From there, the quickly multiplying lymphocytes collect and build up in your lymph nodes, the small glands in your neck, armpits, and other parts of your body.
There are more than 40 different types of the disease, but Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are the main two sub-categories with the latter being much more common. The type of white blood cells linked to the disease determines the distinction. If doctors are unable to detect the Reed-Sternberg cell – a giant cell derived from B lymphocytes – then it is categorized as Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
You might be at a higher risk for lymphoma if you:
- Have been infected with the HIV or Epstein-Barr virus
- Had an organ transplant
- Have a family history of lymphoma
- Have been treated with radiation or chemotherapy drugs for cancer in the past
- Have an autoimmune disease
Signs of Lymphoma
One thing to note about lymphomas is that this type of cancer often creeps in quietly, without symptoms. And even when symptoms do show up, they don’t necessarily point directly to cancer.
In a previous interview, Dr. Elise Chong, a medical oncologist at Penn Medicine, explained that lymphoma symptoms could be difficult to detect.
“The symptoms of lymphoma, especially if you have a low-grade lymphoma, often are no symptoms,” Dr. Chong explained. “People say, but I feel completely fine, and that’s very normal.”
People with lymphoma do not always have symptoms, but common ones are:
- Swollen glands in your neck, armpit or groin
- Night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss
- Feeling tired
- Swelling in your stomach
No matter what, it’s important to communicate anything unusual happening to your body with your doctor. Even if you think there’s nothing to worry about, it’s good to rule out the possibility of more serious issues.