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Lester's cancer

Posted by Gordon Edes, Globe Staff  September 1, 2006 07:25 PM

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Red Sox rookie Jon Lester has been diagnosed with a comparatively rare form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a blood cancer, and will begin treatment in the coming week, according to a statement released by the Red Sox at the family's request.

Lester, 22, who was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital on Wednesday, had initially complained of back pain. During testing, it was determined that he had enlarged lymph nodes, and doctors diagnosed him what the statement called a treatable form of anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

Non-Hodgkins lymphoma is a cancer that orginates in the lymphatic system, the disease-fighting network spread thoughout your body. According to the Lymphoma Research Foundation website, treatment often involves some form of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, biologic therapy, or a combination of these.  Bone marrow or stem cell transplantation may sometimes be used.  Surgery may be used under special circumstances, but is used primarily to obtain a biopsy for diagnostic purposes.

Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1985 and underwent aggressive treatment, including a bone-marrow transplant that was considered experimental at the time.

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