The Dude has cancer. On Oct. 19, 2020, Jeff Bridges announced he had been diagnosed with lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. Bridges won an Academy Award for Best Actor in 2009’s “Crazy Heart” and is beloved for his role as Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski in 1998’s “The Big Lebowski.”
As the Dude would say.. New S**T has come to light.
I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma. Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good.
I’m starting treatment and will keep you posted on my recovery.
— Jeff Bridges (@TheJeffBridges) October 20, 2020
Bridges, 70, made his film debut in the early 1970s. He has been nominated for seven Academy Awards, earning his first for the role of Duane Jackson in 1971’s “The Last Picture Show,” his second on-screen credit.
So, what are Bridges’ prospects and treatment options after the diagnosis?
Lymphoma is a cancer that begins in immune system cells. There are two types of lymphoma: Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Hodgkin lymphoma is marked by the Reed-Sternberg cell – large, abnormal lymphocytes containing more than one nucleus. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can be slow-growing or aggressive. Prognosis and treatment depend on the stage and the type of cancer.
The National Cancer Institute estimated 8,480 new cases of Hodgkin lymphoma in 2020 and 77,240 instances of NHL. The 5-year relative survival rate for Hodgkin lymphoma is 87.4%. NHL is 72.7%. (1-2)
Chemotherapy (and possibly radiation) is the most common treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma. For non-Hodgkin lymphomas, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy drugs, radiation, and surgery are options. (3-4)
Cancer continues to affect thousands of people. While the disease’s incidence is declining in the United States (5), for 2020, the American Cancer Society projects an estimated 1.8 million new cases diagnosed and 606,520 deaths.
Among those who have died of cancer this year:
- musician Eddie Van Halen (throat cancer)
- actor Chadwick Boseman (colon cancer)
- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (pancreatic cancer)
- musician Little Richard (bone cancer)
- U.S. Congressman John Lewis (pancreatic cancer)
- actress Kelly Preston (breast cancer)
- 1971 Miss America Phyllis George (blood cancer)
- singer Betty Wright (endometrial cancer)
- musician Neil Peart (brain cancer)
- MLB pitcher Don Larsen (esophageal cancer)
While everyone should be cancer-conscious, there are options to help you avoid cancer care’s financial toxicity if you are diagnosed with the disease.
If you have lymphoma, medical bills can pile up quickly. You may be choosing between paying bills and everyday needs, literally deciding which bills get paid while trying to maintain a cancer treatment schedule.
If you’re facing mounting health care bills, debt, or even retirement – the solution to the problem may be an existing life insurance policy. However, a life settlement allows you to sell the policy and use that money for whatever financial needs you have.
LifeGuide Partners offers a free, no-risk evaluation of your existing life insurance policy. LifeGuide’s financial experts offer a no-string-attached assessment of your policy, which could provide you with the cash needed for cancer treatments or pay bills and relieve the angst of financial toxicity.
(1) Cancer Stat Facts: Hodgkin Lymphoma. https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/hodg.html
(2) Cancer Stat Facts: Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/nhl.html
(3) Treating Classic Hodgkin Lymphoma, by Stage. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/hodgkin-lymphoma/treating/by-stage.html
(4) Treating Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-hodgkin-lymphoma/treating.html
(5) Death By Cancer Shows Decline in the 2020 Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer. https://www.targetedonc.com/view/death-by-cancer-shows-decline-in-the-2020-annual-report-to-the-nation-on-the-status-of-cancer