Treating Leukemia and Lymphoma

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Celebrities Who Have Battled Leukemia and Lymphoma

  • Celebrities Who Have Battled Leukemia and Lymphoma
    Stars Get Blood Cancers, Too
    Roughly 1 million people in the United States are living with leukemia or lymphoma, cancers that affect the blood cells. About 44,000 are expected to die of these cancers in 2020. While leukemia is a leading childhood cancer, it’s actually found more often in adults 20 and older—and celebrities are not immune. Learn about some notable names and their battles with leukemia and lymphoma.
  • Celebrities Who Have Battled Leukemia and Lymphoma
    Michael C. Hall
    Known for his starring role as Showtime's foremost blood spatter expert and knife-wielding serial killer, Dexter, Michael C. Hall was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in 2010. Hall went public with his illness while in treatment in 2010, and told The Guardian he was glad he did, because people took inspiration from seeing someone they were familiar with go through treatment successfully. Hall served as spokesman for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night Walk” fundraising campaign in 2011.
  • Celebrities Who Have Battled Leukemia and Lymphoma
    Evan Handler
    Evan Handler is perhaps most known as Charlotte’s husband on HBO’s “Sex and the City”; he also co-starred in “Californication” on Showtime. When Handler was 24, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and given six months to live. He left his understudy role in a Neil Simon play on Broadway to begin treatment, which was successful—but not after some challenges, which Handler recounted in two memoirs.
  • Jill Clayburgh
    Jill Clayburgh
    Oscar-nominated actress Jill Clayburgh lived for 21 years with chronic lymphocytic leukemia before dying from its complications at age 66 in 2010. Clayburgh was nominated for Academy Awards for her performances in “An Unmarried Woman” and “Starting Over”; she also acted on Broadway and on television. Husband David Rabe, a playwright, told the Los Angeles Times she dealt with her illness courageously, quietly and privately.
  • Ethan Zohn, Celebrities Who Have Battled Leukemia and Lymphoma
    Ethan Zohn
    Pro soccer star Ethan Zohn, 42, who also won $1 million on CBS’s “Survivor” reality show in 2001, was diagnosed with a rare form of Hodgkin lymphoma in 2009, which recurred in 2011. To fight the illness, Zohn underwent multiple rounds of chemotherapy and two stem-cell transplants. Today, he is a spokesman for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and in May 2016, he hosted the organization’s first Soccerfest to raise money to fight blood cancers. 
  • Rich Cronin, Celebrities Who Have Battled Leukemia and Lymphoma
    Rich Cronin
    Rich Cronin, lead singer of the pop band LFO (known for the 1999 hit "Summer Girls"), complained of headaches and exhaustion in 2006, then was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. He was treated and went into remission, becoming active in cancer treatment awareness and setting up the Cronin Hope Foundation to support bone marrow and blood donations. His cancer returned and he died in 2010 at age 36.
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  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Celebrities Who Have Battled Leukemia and Lymphoma
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    NBA superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was 62 when he started experiencing hot flashes and sweats in 2009. He underwent tests and learned he had chronic myeloid leukemia, a rare, slow-progressing type of leukemia. Abdul-Jabbar has managed the condition ever since, thanks to oral medications. He encourages the public to get tested and, if they have a condition like his, to be vigilant with their medications and follow-up care, which can be the key to staying healthy. 
  • Mr. T, Celebrities Who Have Battled Leukemia and Lymphoma
    Mr. T
    Mr. T pities the fool who thinks T-cell lymphoma will stop him. The "A-Team" actor and former pro wrestler, famous for his bulk, mohawk, jewelry and blunt talk, received his diagnosis in 1995 at age 43. Mr. T (real name Lawrence Turead) had a recurrence a year later and underwent chemotherapy, radiation and interferon therapy. A 2016 report in Mental Floss magazine said he was cancer-free.
  • Nora Ephron, Celebrities Who Have Battled Leukemia and Lymphoma
    Nora Ephron
    Writer and director Nora Ephron—who penned screenplays for such classic romantic comedies as "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle"—died at age 71 in 2012 from pneumonia, a complication of the acute myeloid leukemia she had been diagnosed with six years earlier. Ephron was also known for "You've Got Mail" and "Silkwood,” as well as numerous novels and essays.
  • Celebrities Who Have Battled Leukemia and Lymphoma
    Gene Wilder
    The actor-comedian was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 1999. He was treated with chemotherapy and a stem-cell transplant and recovered. Wilder, who was famous for his roles in films such as “Young Frankenstein” and “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” died in 2016 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
Celebrities Who Have Battled Leukemia and Lymphoma

About The Author

Lorna Collier has been reporting on health topics—especially mental health and women’s health—as well as technology and education for more than 25 years. Her work has appeared in the AARP Bulletin, Chicago Tribune, U.S. News,, the APA’s Monitor on Psychology, and many others. She’s a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Association of Health Care Journalists.

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  6. Mr. T: The Ultimate Tough Guy goes Head-to-Head with Cancer. Coping With Cancer.
  7. 10 Things You Might Not Know About Mr. T. Mental Floss.
  8. Abdul-Jabbar Goes Public With Cancer Fight. New York Times.
  9. “Summer Girls” Singer Rich Cronin Dies of Leukemia. Celebrity Diagnosis.
  10. LFO singer dies after battle with leukemia. CNN.
  11. Stop and Look, Cancer Ends With Me. Everyday Health.
  12. Survivor times two. Chicago Tribune.  
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2020 Sep 7
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