Montel and Maressa decided this would be an excellent opportunity to educate people -- especially young women, who are seeing a rise in Hodgkin's Lymphoma diagnoses. "Know your body" is Maressa's excellent advice. She will be blogging about her experience, hoping to educate others about the disease.
And I applaud her for that. As we close out a month dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness, it's nice to remember that the color of our shoelaces and the frosting on our cupcakes doesn't raise awareness nearly as much as the stories that patients tell. I admire anyone who goes forward with their disease like this.
I wish I could say the same about Dr. Oz.
His brief explanation of Hodgkin's Lymphoma is not good -- misleading and misinforming.
He uses some serious hyperbole to explain stage 4: "They [the lymph nodes] get so large that you become one big lymph node, basically." Seriously?
He presents staging as a series of downward-traveling node swellings: Stage 1, the nodes in the neck swell. Stage 2, it travels to the chest. Stage 3, to the spleen. Stage 4, the groin.
Yeah....not quite. Lymphomas, including Hodgkin's, can start anywhere, and staging is not quite so "subway-ish," to use his comparison. Here's the Mayo Clinic's more accurate description:
- Stage I. The cancer is limited to one lymph node region or a single organ.
- Stage II. In this stage, the cancer is in two different lymph nodes or the cancer is in a portion of tissue or an organ and nearby lymph nodes. But the cancer is still limited to a section of the body either above or below the diaphragm.
- Stage III. When the cancer moves to lymph nodes both above and below the diaphragm, it's considered stage III. Cancer may also be in one portion of tissue or an organ near the lymph node groups or in the spleen.
- Stage IV. This is the most advanced stage of Hodgkin's lymphoma. Cancer cells are in several portions of one or more organs and tissues. Stage IV Hodgkin's lymphoma affects not only the lymph nodes but also other parts of your body, such as the liver, lungs or bones.
But he's also a doctor, and his first responsibility is to present accurate information to people who turn to him for information.
I'm sending all good thoughts to Maressa and her family. I hope things go easily and well for her, and I look forward to reading about her experiences.