Hank Green, a vlogger and author known for his educational content on YouTube and more recently TikTok, revealed Friday that he has been diagnosed with cancer.
“Good news, bad news,” he said in an announcement on his YouTube channel, Vlogbrothers, which he shares with his brother, author John Green. “One, it’s cancer. It’s called lymphoma. It’s a cancer of the lymphatic system. And, good news, it’s something called Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. It’s the most treatable, one of the most treatable cancers.”
Hank Green is most known for his work as a science communicator and the network of online communities he’s helped to create, in some cases alongside his brother.
Vlogbrothers started in 2007. In each episode, either Hank or John Green — though both do appear together on special occasions — shares stories, updates and their interests in videos addressed to each other.
Each episode usually stays under four minutes long, unless the subject matter warrants a longer discussion.
Green’s announcement certainly qualified, and, in a video running over 12 minutes long, he talked about his diagnosis and how he expects it will impact his biggest projects, such as Vlogbrothers. As many of his fans would expect, however, Green maintained a positive attitude in his video.
“I said this to you already, John, I said, ‘This is the best time so far in human history to get lymphoma,’ which is a very Hank Green thought, and then you gave me a very John Green thought and said, ‘Well, a year from now would’ve been better,'” Hank Green said.
The host explained that the path to diagnosis began when he noticed his lymph nodes looked “big.”
“I talked to my doctor. She said, ‘It’s probably nothing. We’ll send you in for an ultrasound.’ Got an ultrasound. The tech in the ultrasound room was like, I’m going to go get a doctor.’ That’s not what you want to have happen,” Hank Green said.
Green said the doctor told him the ultrasound showed signs of possible lymphoma. He then underwent a biopsy, and learned that his cancer was “likely” detected early. As of Friday, Green was waiting on a scan for confirmation.
Green added that he’s experiencing no symptoms, but will be undergoing chemotherapy “very soon.” He expects chemotherapy to continue for no less than four months.
“I feel stressed, is my main symptom,” he said with a laugh.
Green said he does not yet know how this may impact some of his largest projects, including Vlogbrothers, the brothers’ podcast “Dear Hank & John,” or his other projects including SciShow and the SciShow podcast, “Tangents.”
“I know that I’m going to feel like garbage,” he said. “It’s going to be really unpleasant.”
“Knowing me, I’m going to still find joy in creating and communicating with people if I can, and the easiest, lowest lift way of doing that is probably going to be writing something down and putting it in a newsletter, and so if I still want that, but I’m not feeling up to making videos and podcasts, that would be a nice thing to be able to have,” he said.
He also asked that the online community refrain from sharing unsolicited healthcare advice and rallying around him.
“I think that the prognosis for illness is mostly down to good science, good healthcare, good outlook, good attitude and chance,” he said. “Too much of it, much more than we would like to think, comes down to chance, and I just feel very grateful to all the people who have spent their careers studying disease and cancer and lymphoma and Hodgkin’s specifically.”