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Details On The Cancer That Claimed The Life Of Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty

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Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty, 57, died Sunday morning at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston. (File Photo) Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty, 57, died Sunday morning at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston. (File Photo)
Pastor Daugherty had non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a cancer that starts in the lymph nodes and then spreads throughout the rest of the body. Pastor Daugherty had non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a cancer that starts in the lymph nodes and then spreads throughout the rest of the body.

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Victory Christian Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty, 57, passed away Sunday morning.

The founder of Victory Christian Center, Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty's battle with cancer took a turn for the worse on Friday as he fought an infection at Houston's M.D. Anderson Hospital.

Reverend Billy Joe Daugherty was hospitalized in October with a viral infection in his throat. Tests confirmed that the Pastor had cancer. 
 
Pastor Daugherty had non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a cancer that starts in the lymph nodes and then spreads throughout the rest of the body.

Lymphoma is a general term for a cancer that starts in the lymph nodes. The cancer starts when a lymphocyte, a type of white blood cell, has a  malignant change and multiplies, creating tumors.

There are two types of lymphoma, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin.

"Hodgkin's disease tends to occur more in men, and those who have certain types of infections can be prone to developing lymphoma, such as mono," said Dr. Simeon Jaggernauth, Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Non-Hodgkins lymphoma is more complex.  It encompasses a wide range of cancers that are either slow or fast growing.

"Non-Hodgkins lymphoma is different in that, although it can be treated, it depends on the type of lymphoma they have," said Dr. Jaggernauth.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that 1 in 437 men and women will be diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in their lifetime. The risk is about nine times higher for non-Hodgkin's.

"We're not really clear what causes it, but we know that there are certain risk factors that can lead to it and those are still being studied at research hospitals," says Jaggernauth.

Symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, chest pain, unexplained weight loss, night sweats and rashes. Oncologists say lymphoma is highly treatable.

"The treatment primarily consists of chemotherapy, plus radiation in some fashion," Jaggernauth said.

But not always curable, the more aggressive seems to respond better to chemotherapy but at the same time, you can die from the disease itself.

The Lymphoma Research Foundation reports that 30% to 60% of patients with the aggressive and fast moving form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can be cured.

Dr. Jaggernauth says to check with your doctor if you have an questions or concerns about the disease.

11/23/2009  Related Story: Tulsa Dream Center To Continue Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty's Legacy

11/22/2009 Related Story: Tulsa Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty Dies Sunday Morning

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