The former NYPD Officer and Secret Service agent underwent surgery to remove a neck tumor, and now he's shared it's likely to be lymphoma. SurvivorNet breaks down this blood cancer and treatment options.
Published Oct 8, 2020
Political commentator Dan Bongino, 45, is facing a possible cancer diagnosis. He just recently underwent surgery to remove a neck tumor he discovered in September, and now has revealed it’s likely to be lymphoma — a type of blood cancer.
While appearing on a Fox broadcast, Bongino shared that he found a 10-centimeter by 7-centimeter tumor in his neck and went through a biopsy to see whether it was a cause for concern. He suspected it was a lipoma (a usually harmless fatty tumor) since he’s gotten a few of them in the past, but it turns out that wasn’t the case.
Once discovering the tumor, he had surgery to remove it. After the procedure, he told fans that surgeons were able to successfully remove the entire tumor from his neck. However, there was some bad news mixed in with the good — it’s likely he has lymphoma.
“Thank you all for your kind words & well wishes. I’m out of surgery & I feel good,” Bongino wrote on Twitter. “They removed the entire tumor from my neck. The bad news is, it looks like lymphoma. The good news is, there are treatments options. Either way, it’ll be okay. Thank you all for your support.”
Bongino may be facing a possible cancer battle, but this isn’t the first time he’s faced challenges. Before his fame as a political commentator, Bongino worked as an NYPD offer from 1995 to 1998 and later joined the Secret Service in 1999 as a special agent. He was one of the members of George W. Bush’s U.S. Presidential Protection Division in 2006. He left the Secret Service once President Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2011.
This diagnosis certainly represents a new battle for Bongino, but he will be able to draw on his inner strength and fortitude to persevere.
Lymphoma is a one of the 100 types of blood cancer that affects nearly 200,000 Americans every year. Lymphomas begin in a specific kind of white blood cell called a lymphocyte, which are part of the body’s lymphatic system. In cases of lymphoma, the lymphocytes multiply and build up in the lymph nodes and other tissues. As they multiply and create an abnormal number of white blood cells, it’s more difficult for your immune system to launch an effective attack against invading germs — leaving the body prone to infections and other illnesses.
So far, it’s unknown what type of lymphoma Bongino might be facing. However, the blood cancer comes in two main categories: Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. While Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is considered the more treatable type of cancer since it’s usually caught in early stages, non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is the more common type of lymphoma people will be diagnosed with. The disease affects both young adults and middle aged individuals, with the majority of non-Hodgkin’s diagnoses occurring in people over the age of 55.
For these different types of lymphomas, the most common symptom is swelling of the lymph nodes, or glands. However, realizing this is a cancer symptom can be tricky since sometimes glands can be swollen due to just a common infection.
Dr. Jason Westin explains symptoms associated with lymphoma
In the case of Bongino, removing the tumor was the first step of his treatment journey. However, depending on the type of lymphoma the stage, and overall health of the patient, treatment options can be different. In the case of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, CAR-T Cell Therapy has shown huge benefits for patients. This therapy involves removing T-cells, or cells responsible for killing viruses and bacteria, from the body, reprogramming the cells so that they are better prepared to fight cancer, and placing them back in the body to attack cancerous cells.
It’s commonly used to treat types of blood cancer such as lymphoma and leukemia, but it’s not the first treatment your physician is likely to try. If patients do not respond well to previous therapies, or experience a relapse, that’s usually when CAR-T Cell Therapy comes into play.