What You Need To Know
Facts About My Cancer
By Fred Thompson Posted in 2008 | Fred Thompson — Comments (51) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
We have all seen the courageous battle that Elizabeth and John Edwards are fighting, and there are so many others. Fortunately, there are an increasing number of good stories because of the medical advances that have been made. I have friends in politics, some in Congress, some running for President, and others who have successfully dealt with cancer. It is certainly no respecter of persons and totally non-partisan. That point was driven home to me about 2 1/2 years ago when, shortly after a routine physical, I was diagnosed with what the doctors call an indolent lymphoma. Of the 30-plus kinds of lymphoma this is a "good" kind, if there is such a thing.
I have had no illness from it, or even any symptoms. My life expectancy should not be affected. I am in remission, and it is very treatable with drugs if treatment is needed in the future--and with no debilitating side effects.
I am one of the lucky ones. There are many lucky ones today. And for all of our diversity, we share one thing in common--a deep appreciation for the fact that we live in the United States of America and have the best medicine and the best doctors the world has even known.
April 11, 2007
In 2004, Senator Thompson was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma. Today, he is in remission from this, slow-growing disease. Doctors cannot currently detect the lymphoma by physical examinations or scans. Here are the facts:
WHAT IS IT?
Senator Thompson has an indolent form of lymphoma, one of more than 30 types of lymphoma.
Some lymphomas are very aggressive, but people with slow-growing types, like Senator Thompson's, often dying from natural causes associated with old age, rather than from the disease.
Using a standard prognostic scoring system Senator Thompson has a favorable prognosis.
Senator Thompson has never been physically ill or had any symptoms from his lymphoma or had any side effects from the therapy.
One treatment option for this type of lymphoma is simply to watch and wait.
There are also new therapies, if and when treatment is indicated, which prolong survival compared to treatments used just 5 years ago.
Senator Thompson chose to receive such therapy (Rituxan), but he is no longer in treatment as he is in remission.
Bruce D. Cheson, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Head of Hematology
Division of Hematology/Oncology