ESPN Reporter Edward Aschoff's Girlfriend Says He Also Had Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma—Here's What That Means

The 34-year-old was also diagnosed with pneumonia and a rare disease called HLH before his death on Christmas Eve.

New details have emerged in the death of ESPN reporter Edward Aschoff, who passed away on December 24, 2019, on his 34th birthday.

In a new Twitter post from Aschoff's account, his fiancée, Katy Berteau, revealed a third diagnosis—in addition to Aschoff's multi-focal pneumonia and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)—that contributed to his death: non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

"After his passing, the hospital received the final results from his lung biopsy," Berteau wrote. "Unbeknownst to us, Edward had stage 4 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in his lungs. This is an aggressive type of cancer that is usually undetectable until it is very advanced."

Berteau went on to explain how the newest diagnosis might have contributed to Aschoff's death. "Both pneumonia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma can trigger HLH in the body and that is seemingly what happened with Edward," she wrote. "All of this combined is what led to his very rapid decline those last few days, and ultimately his passing," Berteau said.

According to Berteau, she decided to share the update on Aschoff's death because it's what he would have wanted: "I also wanted to provide this update because he would have wanted everyone to know that something way bigger than pneumonia took him down," she said.

What is non-Hodgkin lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that forms in the lymph system, a part of the body’s immune system that helps to ward off infection and disease, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Non-Hodgin lymphoma (which may also be called non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) can be indolent, which means it spreads slowly and has few signs; or aggressive, which means it spreads quickly and does have signs and symptoms. Whether the disease is indolent or aggressive factors into how it will be treated.

Regardless of the speed at which it spreads, symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma typically include swollen lymph nodes, fever, drenching night sweats, weight loss, and fatigue, per the NCI. Skin rashes or pain in the chest, abdomen, and bones for no reason may also show up.

Berteau described Aschoff's cancer as "an aggressive type of cancer that is usually undetectable until it is very advanced." The disease can also be indolent, which means it spreads slowly with few signs and symptoms. Whether it is aggressive or indolent, common signs and symptoms include swelling in the lymph nodes, fever, weight loss, skin rash and pain in the chest, abdomen or bones.

Different types of treatments are available for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy, among others.

On Twitter, Berteau made sure to thank Aschoff's doctors and nurses once again for their excellent care. "I hope this information helps people in dealing with this tragedy," she wrote. "It has helped me knowing that his passing was inevitable, and I’m at least grateful he didn’t have to go through the painful treatment and drawn out process of battling the disease."

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