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'Survivor' winner Ethan Zohn cancer free for first time since diagnosis

By Christopher Rocchio, 12/10/2009 

Ethan Zohn's battle with cancer has taken a positive turn.

The Survivor: Africa winner received a full-body PET scan on Tuesday in Manhattan and learned that -- for the first time since he was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin's disease in April -- there are no active cancer cells in his body, People reported Thursday. 

"If I walked in off the street today, they would think I'm cancer free," Zohn told People. "This is the best possible news I could have gotten at this stage of my journey."

After Zohn was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the body's lymphatic system, he began an "altered, more aggressive" three-month chemotherapy schedule that initially yielded positive results in July following a PET scan.

However in September Zohn revealed there was "re-growth" of the cancer cells and he was "resistant to the first form of chemotherapy" -- leading to five weeks of radiation treatments, which he recently completed and led to the clear PET scan.

"I honestly believe that all the positive healing vibes everyone has been sending me these past nine months have helped," Zohn told People. "So thank you to everyone from the bottom of my heart."

Since Zohn's cancer has been resurgent in the past, he said doctors still plan to move forward with a stem-cell transplant -- which will begin in the next two weeks and require a month-long hospital stay in isolation.

"With my history, its essential," he told People, adding he's remaining positive.  "I'm so pumped and excited. My docs are amazing."

Zohn's girlfriend -- Survivor: Amazon winner Jenna Morasca -- was also happy that his cancer scare could finally be over.

"I always knew he could beat it," she told People. "This is the best Christ-makah present anyone could ask for."

(Photo credit CBS)

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