Louie Anderson's Cause Of Death Explained

At the age of 68, stand-up comedian, Emmy Award-winning actor, author, and game show host Louie Anderson died Friday, Jan. 21. Anderson's publicist Glenn Schwartz confirmed to Deadline that he had been hospitalized in Las Vegas for treatment of Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, with his cause of death cited as complications from cancer (via Rolling Stone).

Anderson's 40-year career extended from the stage to the screen to best-selling books. The actor was widely recognized for his talent, having won 2 Daytime Emmys for his performance in Fox's children's animated series, "Life with Louie," and a third Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his portrayal of Christine Baskets in the FX series, "Baskets" (via Deadline). First appearing on "The Tonight Show" in 1984, the comedian went on to be featured in hit Hollywood feature films, guest-star on various sitcoms, produce a number of solo stand-up specials, and publish 3 well-received books based on his personal life experiences.

According to Rolling Stone, Anderson was reported to have had health issues in the past, including 2 heart surgeries in 2003. He was also treated in the hospital for his blood cancer diagnoses in the days prior to his death.

How Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma develops

Often starting in the lymph nodes, Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a cancer of the white blood cells, or lymphocytes (via WebMD). The emergence of a lump in the armpit, neck, or groin is often an initial symptom of DLBCL, although it can also develop in the bowel or stomach. Other symptoms may include belly or chest pain, fever, weight loss, excessive night sweats, itching, or shortness of breath.

To determine the presence of DLBCL, doctors will perform a biopsy. If detected, further testing can be conducted to determine the location of the cancer and its severity (via WebMD). Treatment options vary, but the most common method involves repeated rounds of IV medicines and pills, sometimes coupled with radiation. Men and middle-aged-to-older individuals are reported to be more susceptible to the condition.

According to Lymphoma Action, people with a family history of lymphoma or those who were overweight as a young adult may be at a slightly higher risk for DLBCL. In an interview with Daily Blast Live, Anderson had previously stated how he took his diagnosis very seriously, stating, "I took it very serious[ly]. I got a trainer. I worked out. I swam ... I learned a lot and feel good."

Taking preventative health measures may help reduce the chances of developing DLBCL.