YouTuber and author Hank Green announced that he has been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in a YouTube video last week.
In the video, Green recounted his diagnosis, saying it all started when “I noticed my lymph nodes were big.” After consulting with his doctor, getting an ultrasound and undergoing a biopsy, Green was given a diagnosis. According to Green, it was “good news, bad news.”
“One, it’s cancer. It’s called lymphoma. It’s cancer of the lymphatic system. And good news, it’s something called Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” Green said. “It’s one of the most treatable cancers. It responds very well to treatment. The goal is cure. The treatment to get there is fairly well-known, if unpleasant.”
“Prognosis is very good for people with Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” Green continued. “It seems likely we caught mine early.”
It seems that Green has already started chemotherapy — he’s been documenting his chemotherapy on Twitter, with one tweet saying, “HICCUPS?!? HICCUPS ARE A CHEMO SIDE EFFECT?! THIS IS ALL SO WEIRD.”
Green updated fans on his prognosis in a tweet, saying that his PET scan looked “very encouraging,” adding, “I don’t have any of the ‘unfavorable’ symptoms.”
Had a meeting with my oncologist Friday and my PET scan looked very encouraging. All of the signs of disease are in “two adjacent nodal clusters” with no involvement of organs outside the lymph nodes. Marrow looks clean (though it’s always very hard to know for sure, there was…— Hank Green (@hankgreen) May 21, 2023
As for what’s next, Green continued, “Paths forward are either a pure chemo treatment or chemo and radiation, which will depend on a radiologist’s assessment of how well they can avoid doing damage to my heart and lungs while still hitting the cancer and the areas around it.”
Who is Hank Green?
Green, 43, is a YouTuber, “science educator” and author, according to CNN. Green first became known through “Vlogbrothers” in 2007, a YouTube channel with his brother, author John Green. According to NPR, Green also “hosts multiple podcasts” in addition to a popular TikTok account.
Green has written three books: “An Absolutely Remarkable Thing,” “A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor” and “From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back.”
So far, Green is unsure of how his diagnosis will impact his work. “What am I gonna make? I don’t know,” Green said in his video. “I know that I’m gonna feel like garbage.”
Green and his brother also founded VidCon in 2010, per Variety. Green will be unable to attend VidCon this year, due to his diagnosis.
We love you, @hankgreen ❤️— VidCon (@VidCon) May 19, 2023
Due to his recent diagnosis, Hank will no longer be able to attend VidCon Anaheim 2023 next month. To our Co-Founder, go-to science guy, and only person on the internet who seems to understand where all the candle wax goes: we're sending all the love… pic.twitter.com/MVNyaZJhIS
“Due to his recent diagnosis, Hank will no longer be able to attend VidCon Anaheim 2023 next month,” the tweet reads. “To our Co-Founder, go-to science guy, and only person on the internet who seems to understand where all the candle wax goes: we’re sending all the love from the VidCon community & beyond.”
What is Hodgkin lymphoma?
According to the American Cancer Society, Hodgkin lymphoma is a “cancer that starts in white blood cells called lymphocytes.” Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, a part of the immune system.
The lymphatic system “helps fight infections and some other diseases,” as well as “helps control the flow of fluids in the body,” per the American Cancer Society.
Because Hodgkin lymphoma directly impacts lymph nodes, it can cause “swollen lymph nodes and growths throughout the body,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Because there’s lymph tissue throughout the body, “Hodgkin lymphoma can start almost anywhere,” per the American Cancer Society.
Is Hodgkin lymphoma a serious cancer?
According to NHS Inform, Hodgkin lymphoma is “relatively aggressive cancer and can quickly spread through the body” — but it’s “one of the most easily treated types of cancer.”
They say god gives his toughest battles to his strongest warriors.— Hank Green (@hankgreen) May 19, 2023
He gave me super treatable, early stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma because he knows I’m a lil baby.
Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms
According to Cancer.net, Hodgkin lymphoma often occurs in “lymph nodes in the neck or in the area between the lungs and behind the breastbone.” It can also manifest in “groups of lymph nodes under an arm, in the groin or in the abdomen or pelvis.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, other Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms include:
- Weight loss.
- Severe itching.
- Night sweats.
- Experiencing “pain in your lymph nodes after drinking alcohol.”
Is Hodgkin lymphoma very curable?
While Hodgkin lymphoma is moderately aggressive, Penn Medicine called it “very curable,” citing “chemotherapy and radiation therapy” as common treatments.
The American Cancer Society has estimated that, in 2023 there will be roughly 8,830 new cases of Hodgkin lymphoma, with 900 deaths. According to the American Cancer Society, “the 5-year relative survival rate for all patients diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma is now about 89%.”