Bridges & Wife Susan Flourishing – Married for 45 Years
- Actor, Oscar winner, and cancer survivor Jeff Bridges, 73, beat lymphoma in 2021 after his diagnosis in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Bridges had chemotherapy to treat his disease. Other lymphoma treatments include active surveillance, radiation, and bone marrow transplant.
- The two main types of lymphoma are Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more common, and you’re more likely to be diagnosed with it after age 55. People usually develop Hodgkin lymphoma at a younger age.
Speaking with PEOPLE magazine, the Big Lebowski actor says of his personal life, “I’ve been really blessed.” Talking about his love, he says he and his partner Susan are “quite different as people.” Bridges highlights that as a reason for their successful relationship. “We celebrate [our differences] rather than making it drive us apart.”Read More
Jeff Bridges’ Lymphoma BattleJeff Bridges shared his cancer diagnosis with the world in October 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, on social media. He announced the diagnosis, writing, “I have a great team of doctors, and the prognosis is good.”
Bridges treated his lymphoma with chemotherapy and regularly kept fans updated throughout his cancer journey with a colorful online journal and on social media. Lymphoma treatments can include, says the Mayo Clinic:
- Active surveillance. Some forms of lymphoma are very slow growing. You and your doctor may decide to wait to treat your lymphoma when it causes signs and symptoms that interfere with your daily activities. Until then, you may undergo periodic tests to monitor your condition.
- Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy fast-growing cells, such as cancer cells. The drugs are usually administered through a vein, but can also be taken as a pill, depending on the specific drugs you receive.
- Radiation therapy. Radiation therapy uses high-powered beams of energy, such as X-rays and protons, to kill cancer cells.
- Bone marrow transplant. A bone marrow transplant, also known as a stem cell transplant, involves using high doses of chemotherapy and radiation to suppress your bone marrow. Then healthy bone marrow stem cells from your body or from a donor are infused into your blood where they travel to your bones and rebuild your bone marrow.
- Other treatments. Other drugs used to treat lymphoma include targeted drugs that focus on specific abnormalities in your cancer cells. Immunotherapy drugs use your immune system to kill cancer cells. A specialized treatment called chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy takes your body’s germ-fighting T cells, engineers them to fight cancer and infuses them back into your body.
In September 2021, the actor shared on his blog that he’d entered remission. He shared that “the 9” x 12” mass has shrunk down to the size of a marble.” Bridges also suffered after contracting Covid in the midst of his cancer battle earlier this year. “Covid kicked my ass pretty good, but I’m double vaccinated and feeling much better now.”
Distinctions Among Types of Lymphoma
While Jeff Bridges didn’t disclose the type of lymphoma publicly he was diagnosed with, the two most common types of this disease are Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system that affects infection-fighting cells called lymphocytes. And there are more than 40 different types of lymphoma.
“Lymphoma is split up into a number of different categories,” Dr. Elise Chong, a medical oncologist at Penn Medicine, previously told SurvivorNet in an earlier interview.
“The first distinguishing breakpoint, if you will, is non-Hodgkin lymphoma versus Hodgkin lymphoma,” she added, “and those sound like two different categories. But non-Hodgkin lymphoma comprises the majority of lymphoma, and Hodgkin lymphoma is a single specific type of lymphoma.”
Hodgkin lymphoma has distinctive, giant cells called Reed-Sternberg cells. The presence of these cells, which can be seen under a microscope, will help your doctor determine which of the two lymphoma types you have.
There are a few other important differences between non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma to note. For one thing, non-Hodgkin lymphoma is much more common. And you’re more likely to be diagnosed with it after age 55, like Jeff Bridges. People usually develop Hodgkin lymphoma at a younger age.
It should be noted that another difference between these two types of lymphoma is that non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more likely to spread in a random fashion and be found in different groups of lymph nodes in the body, while Hodgkin lymphoma is more likely to grow in a uniform way from one group of lymph nodes directly to another.
These two different types of lymphoma behave, spread and respond to treatment differently, so it’s important for you to know which type you have.