Mark Hoppus says he is cancer-free.
The Blink 182 bassist shared the news after seeing his doctor and learning his chemotherapy had been successful in his battle with lymphoma.Read More
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Hoppus previously confirmed that his chemo seemed to be working while participating in a Livestream with fans. He also said that he felt terrible as a result.
He also used that appearance to pull out his bass for the first time since his diagnosis and play a few songs for fans. Then he answered some questions, including one inquiring about his medical status at the time.
Hoppus said the chemotherapy appeared to be working in July, writing: “Scans indicate that the chemo is working! I still have months of treatment ahead, but it’s the best possible news. I’m so grateful and confused and also sick from last week’s chemo. But the poison the doctors pumped into me, and the kind thoughts and wishes of the people around me are destroying this cancer. Just gonna keep fighting….”
He later told fans how badly he struggled in the wake of his chemo treatments.
“I got chemo last Wednesday, like ten days ago, and I felt awful. Terrible, terrible worst I’ve ever felt on the chemo. I felt out of my brain. I felt like the chemo brain was really bad,” explained Hoppus. “I couldn’t get off the couch; I felt out of my own body just terrible.”
He went on to say: “And then I felt like my blood was drained because I would walk across the house and I would get so lightheaded, and I think that’s because my red blood cell count must be so low. I feel alright now, and I think seven and ten days after is supposed to be the worst, and I’m at day 10 or 11 now.”
Hoppus has been very open about his cancer journey as he battles stage IV lymphoma.
“The cancer isn’t bone-related; it’s blood-related. My blood’s trying to kill me,” the musician told fans on Twitch.
“My classification is diffuse large B-cell lymphoma stage IV-A, which means, as I understand it, it’s entered four parts of my body. I don’t know how exactly they determine the four-part of it, but it’s entered enough parts of my body that I’m stage IV, which I think is the highest it goes. So, I’m stage IV-A.”
According to the Lymphoma Research Foundation, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, accounting for about 23% of new cases each year.
It is both an aggressive and fast-growing form of cancer, which can arise in lymph nodes as it did in Hoppus’ case or sometimes even outside the lymphatic system in the gastrointestinal tract, testes, thyroid, skin, breast, bone, or even brain.
DLBCL attacks the body’s B-lymphocytes, the white blood cells that produce antibodies needed to fight infections and viruses in the body. They develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and play a crucial role in the body’s immune system.
Once DLBCL takes over a cell, it stops producing the antibody protein. The current treatment is four months of targeted therapy plus standard chemotherapy, which given Hoppus’ timeline, it seems he has just completed.
Most DLBCL is diagnosed in adults over 50, with men slightly more likely to have the disease than women and individuals with a compromised immune system at a much greater risk.
Hoppus had not been so positive at the onset of his cancer journey, referring to his cancer battle as a life-or-death moment at one point in a series of tweets. The rock star noted that he “felt like hot garbage” from his chemo but even then vowed to “kick cancer’s ass”
The bassist revealed he was battling cancer in a post on social media in June. He first posted and then deleted a photo on his Instagram account before tweeting a short statement.
“For the past three months, I’ve been undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. I have cancer. It sucks, and I’m scared, and at the same time, I’m blessed with incredible doctors and family and friends to get me through this,” wrote Hoppus.
“I still have months of treatment ahead of me, but I’m trying to remain hopeful and positive.”
He closed out by telling his friends he was excited to one day be cancer-free and see them all at a concert in the “near future.”
That day is now here.
Combating Chemo Side Effects
There are a lot of myths about how chemotherapy impacts people’s lives. It’s sometimes assumed that while undergoing chemotherapy, you’ll be restricted to your home and unable to move around – but the opposite is true, Dr. Marleen Meyers, an oncologist at NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center, previously told SurvivorNet. Many people can continue to work, and Dr. Meyers encourages her patients to exercise, even if it’s just a walk. It can make a huge difference when dealing with fatigue, a common side effect of chemotherapy.
There are also treatments to help with the side effects of chemotherapy. Many medications are available for treating nausea and vomiting as well as anemia.
Other side effects such as hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia may be managed with integrative medicine, like mindfulness, yoga, and acupuncture.
Managing the Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Sneaky Lymphoma Symptoms
Lymphoma is a cancer that often creeps in silently, without symptoms. And even when people do have signs, they don’t necessarily point directly to cancer. For example, swollen glands are much more likely to be from an upper respiratory infection than lymphoma.
The sneaky nature of symptoms, coupled with a lack of screening for lymphoma, leads many people to be diagnosed at an advanced stage — 3 or 4. By that point, the cancer may have already spread throughout their body. Yet even at a late stage, the outlook isn’t as dire as many people might assume.
“The one thing that I always reassure people about when they are diagnosed with advanced-stage lymphoma is that, unlike other cancers, where the advanced stage is a death sentence, that’s certainly not the case for lymphoma,” Dr. Elise Chong, medical oncologist at Penn Medicine, told SurvivorNet in a previous interview.
For example, the 5-year relative survival rate for early-stage follicular lymphoma is 96%. Once the disease has spread, the 5-year survival rate is 85% — still good odds.
“We have many treatments with which people can either be cured with advanced-stage lymphoma or have very good remissions,” added Dr. Chong. “So it doesn’t change how treatable someone is, even when they do have advanced-stage lymphoma.”
Spotting the Symptoms
The first lymphoma symptoms can be so subtle that you might not even notice them. It may not be until you visit your doctor for a check-up that you discover there could be a problem.
“People say, ‘But I feel completely fine,’ and that’s very normal,” pointed out Dr. Chong. If a lump is found, often “it’s only because either someone palpated a lymph node and felt some swelling in their neck or their groin or under their arm.”
If you are at risk for this cancer because you had cancer or an organ transplant in the past, you have an autoimmune disease, or you have an infection such as HIV or Epstein-Barr, it may be worth watching out for symptoms like these:
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck, armpits, or groin
- Weight loss
- Swollen belly
But keep in mind that these are more likely to be symptoms of something far less serious, such as a run-of-the-mill infection.
There are also a group of symptoms doctors refer to as “B symptoms.” Those include fever, night sweats, or weight loss. “If people are having any of these symptoms, it’s essential that they tell their physician early so that the proper testing can be done,” noted Dr. Chong.
Finding Lymphoma With Imaging Tests
Sometimes the first sign of lymphoma appears not as a symptom but as a clue on an imaging test done for another reason. “I have patients who’ve gotten into car accidents and said, ‘I had a scan of my body, and they saw these lymph nodes,’ and that’s how initially the lymphoma was found,” explained Dr. Chong.
If your symptoms appear first, your doctor might send you for an imaging test. An x-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan can identify the cause.
The only way to confirm whether you have lymphoma is with a biopsy. Your doctor will remove a piece of tissue from a lymph node or the entire node. Then, a specially-trained doctor called a pathologist examines the sample in a laboratory to see whether it contains lymphoma cells, and if so, which type of lymphoma they are.
A biopsy can either put your mind at ease by letting you know that you don’t have cancer or give you a sense of direction by giving your doctor a launching-off point to plan your treatment. If you do have lymphoma, you can get at least some comfort from knowing that there are several promising treatments to help manage it, even if you’re diagnosed at an advanced stage.
Lymphoma: What Are The Symptoms?