In Fight With Cancer, Ethan Zohn is Still A "Survivor"

Realty TV star prepares for stem cell transplant

By Maya Pope-Chappell
|  Thursday, Oct 22, 2009  |  Updated 12:45 PM PDT
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In Fight With Cancer, Ethan Zohn is Still A "Survivor"

"Survivor" star Ethan Zohn prepares for stem cell transplant to fight his cancer.

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In the ultimate game of survival, Ethan Zohn is still winning.

The reality TV star and winner of "Survivor: Africa" had “6.2 million” stem cells removed from his body in a three-hour period to be used when he undergoes a full stem-cell transplant to fight his second bout with cancer, People reports.

Zohn was first diagnosed with the rare form of cancer called Hodgkin's disease in April, but despite intense chemotherapy treatments, the cancer returned in August.  Zohn explained in a video blog on People.com how the stem cell treatment works. 

"What happens is they take the blood out of this arm, it goes up through these tubes and over to that weird, Star Trek, 1950s console," the former athlete explained as he pointed to a centrifuge machine that separates undeveloped cells from his blood. "Then it's put back into my body through this arm."

The stem cells taken from Zohn's body will be frozen and stored as he undergoes intense radiation treatments to kill the cancer.  During the transplant, the stem cells will be thawed out and put back into Zohn's body to form new blood cells that doctor's hope will save his life.

 

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