Abby Lee Miller diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after emergency spine surgery
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/20/2018
Abby Lee Miller has been preliminary diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, after undergoing emergency surgery on her spine earlier this week.
Abby, 51, went under the knife Tuesday for what was believed to be an infection in her spine, but the former Dance Moms star was informed in a preliminary diagnosis on Wednesday she actually has a cancer of the lymph nodes, Peoplereported.
However, pathology results are still pending for Abby, who remains in the hospital for treatment.
"We're getting an oncologist involved and we have to figure out what the next steps are as far as chemotherapy or radiation or more spine surgery," Dr. Hooman Melamed, a surgeon at Cedar Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital told People.
"Depending on the tumor type, depending on the sensitivity of the tumor -- it just depends the type but I feel more than yes, she will undergo chemotherapy or radiation."
Abby's representative told the magazine patients with Burkitt have a "good prognosis."
The longtime dance instructor went in for surgery at around 1AM on Tuesday after experiencing "excruciating neck pain" and weakness in her arm, People reported.
The five-hour operation reportedly required an 18-inch incision on her back, as the surgeon had to remove the back part of several vertebrae to relieve pressure.
"If we didn't do something, she was going to die," Dr. Melamed disclosed of the surgery, adding that she also could have become paralyzed if the mass in her spine was not removed. "Her blood pressure was bottoming out. She was not doing well."
Samer Saah, a representative for Dr. Melamed, told People that Abby is recovering well and "looking good" post-surgery, but she's "not out of the woods yet." She will likely need another spinal surgery.
Abby does, however, have movement in her arms, legs and toes, which is a "very good sign," according to the rep.
Abby was reportedly devastated when she first learned she has cancer, but she's in better spirits now.
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On March 27, Abby was transferred from the FCI Victorville prison in California to a halfway house in Long Beach after spending over eight months in federal prison. She will reportedly be released from the halfway house on May 25.
Abby pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud in Pittsburgh, PA, in June 2016, and then in May 2017, she was sentenced to one year and one day behind bars.
Prior to Abby's health crisis, she was seemingly doing and feeling great.
Abby had lost about 100 pounds after undergoing gastric bypass surgery in April 2017, according to Entertainment Tonight, and she had passed a real estate class while in prison. She also took a class in personal finance when behind bars.
"Sometimes in life you make mistakes," Abby wrote on social media in January.
"I trusted the wrong people and didn't pay any attention to things I should of. I'm more than sorry for the mistakes I have made. My world flipped upside down when I had to enter prison. I did so with grace."