The Dance Moms star is starting her third round of chemo.
- ‘Dance Moms’ star Abby Lee Miller has begun her third round of chemotherapy for her Burkitt lymphoma.
- Abby Lee was first diagnosed with the rare form of cancer following a hospitalization in April for what doctors thought was a spinal infection.
- Burkitt lymphoma is an aggressive type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer that starts in the white blood cells, and can be lethal within weeks without treatment.
Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller has had an intense past few months in the health department. First, she was hospitalized with severe neck pain and had to have emergency spinal surgery. Then, she learned she had a rare form of cancer known as Burkitt lymphoma (a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma), according to ET Online. Now, she’s undergoing her third round of chemo to try to treat her cancer.
Abby (who has been in the hospital since mid-April, per Page Six) shared a closeup of her face bathed in sunlight on Instagram Sunday. “Going outside to feel the sun on my face was wonderful!!!” she wrote. “Kids, never take anything in this world for granted! It can all change so suddenly! The Brilliant Dr. B cleared me for sunning this afternoon! Woo Hoo! Thank you sir!”
Her sweet sunning shot comes just days after she revealed that she was about to start her third round of chemotherapy. “I should be planning a weekend of fun in the sun at the pool!,” she captioned a throwback photo on Instagram. “There’s nothing I enjoy more than swimming and a good tan! Instead, I start round 3 of chemo……… another battle that I must win!!!”
What is Burkitt lymphoma?
In case you’re not familiar with it, Burkitt lymphoma is an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects white blood cells, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
With Burkitt lymphoma, the cancer usually starts in a person’s abdomen, where it forms a large tumor. It can spread rapidly to the brain and spinal fluid. It is very rare, according to the ACS-making up just 1 to 2 percent of all lymphomas.
“Burkitt lymphoma is very aggressive,” says Jack Jacoub, M.D., a medical oncologist and medical director of MemorialCare Cancer Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif. “It can be lethal in a matter of weeks with no therapy.” Luckily, the ACS says that more than half of patients can be cured by “intensive chemotherapy.”
There’s no word on how much longer Abby’s treatment is expected to take, but for her specific type of cancer, treatment generally involves undergoing chemotherapy cycles for four to five months, Jacoub says. That can include chemotherapy injections into the spine as well as intravenous chemo.
Why did Abby have to avoid sun exposure during treatment?
Jacoub says people who undergo chemo can burn a lot easier and quicker than others. He adds that doctors usually advise patients not receive direct, prolonged sun exposure for several weeks after their last chemotherapy session. However, it’s probably okay to briefly grab a few rays here and there.