Inside Blink-182's Mark Hoppus' Cancer Journey

Mark Hoppus, bassist of the genre-blending rock and pop-punk band Blink-182, has candidly shared his experience with cancer since June of 2021 when he mistakenly posted a public photo of himself during chemotherapy to over 1 million fans on Instagram (via People). What was initially meant to be disclosed exclusively to those closest to the musician was the start of the public sharing of Hoppus' journey — a story he continues to share today.

Hoppus was diagnosed with stage 4 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, according to GQ. The condition is characterized by the rapid growth of abnormal B cells within the lymph nodes and accounts for 85% of all non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancers (per Medical News Today). In stage 4 of the disease, the cancer has spread to additional areas of the body, such as the bones or lungs. 

Hoppus describes the period following his diagnosis as a "dark time" to GQ and took comfort in creating what he described as a cancer garden (via People). "After my first round of chemotherapy, I went out and got a cactus that has this really cool mutation in it. And I really felt attached to it because that's a mutated plant, and my own mutation happening at the same time."

Hoppus' experience with chemotherapy

In the following months, Hoppus leaned on the support of his fellow band members and loved ones while continuing to share the reality of the physical toll chemotherapy takes on the body, posting via social media in late November 2021, "Halfway through chemo, no idea if it was working or not, relegated to the bathroom floor, retching," according to People. Even so, Hoppus was vocal about the fact that he was committed to fighting the disease and enduring whatever treatments were necessary.

In addition to expressing his struggles as well as moments of gratitude, in time, Hoppus also began incorporating humor into his social media updates, particularly around the topic of hair loss (via People). As Hoppus' revealed to fans that the cancer treatments were working, six months after his diagnosis Hoppus shared even greater news, posting, "Just saw my oncologist and I'm cancer free!!" (via GQ).

The importance of mental health support in cancer treatment

Reflecting on his journey, Hoppus shared the importance of caring for his mental health in addition to his physical health. For the musician, this included staying engaged in creative projects, rekindling his passion for music, and relying on his mother for support — who had also survived the same form of cancer three times (per GQ). The American Cancer Society reports that the likelihood for developing certain types of non-Hodgkin Lymphomas increases in those with a family history of the condition, and according to the Lymphoma Research Foundation, over 18,000 people are diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma annually.

In a recent statement to GQ on March 15, 2022, Hoppus shared that he has been spending time reflecting on his own mortality and declared that he is now looking forward to "better days" and expresses gratitude towards his fans who have stood by him and supported him (via People).