Brittany Daniel Reveals Battle With Lymphoma Cancer, What Is It?

Entertainment | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 03/20/2014 | 10:45 AM EDT

'The Game' actress opens up on silent bout with the non-hodgkin's lymphoma cancer...what it is and how you can recognize the signs

Fans were shocked when Brittany Daniel did not to return to the cast of BET’s “The Game” as Kelly Pitts back in 2011. After the show’s fourth season return, the cast had announced that Daniel was taking “time for herself.”

Recently, Daniel, who just made her anticipated return to the drama series, revealed that during her three-year hiatus she had been battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer.

"It happened so suddenly," the 38-year-old actress said in an interview with People magazine. "There is is no way I would have ever gotten through this without my family. My family is everything to me and I feel like they saw me through this."

Daniel says she learned the news when going to see a doctor after experiencing excruciating back pain, night sweats and flu-like symptoms. It was the summer right before The Game’s fifth season. Almost immediately after being diagnosed Daniel said she began chemotherapy. During her recovery, the actress moved into her twin sister’s guest house, where her family and friends helped her through the

"There is is no way I would have ever gotten through this without my family,” Daniel said. "My family is everything to me and I feel like they saw me through this."

Though she originally wanted to keep her battle private, as she she only told a small group of family and friends, Daniel – now healthy and cancer-free – realized her story could help others battling cancer.

"I want to let people know it is absolutely possible to get through something like this," she said. "I want people to know they are not alone."

Though Daniel’s cancer scare turned out for better, very few people have probably heard of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), as it is not as common as other cancers such as breast cancer. NHL is cancer that originates in your lymphatic system, the disease-fighting network spread throughout your body.

In non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, tumors develop from lymphocytes — a type of white blood cell. Lymphoma is a type of cancer that begins in immune system cells called lymphocytes. Like other cancers, lymphoma occurs when lymphocytes are in a state of uncontrolled cell growth and multiplication.

In the United States each year, some 54,000 people are diagnosed with NHL. It is the most common type of blood cancer in the US. Symptoms include swollen lymph nodes in your neck, armpits or groin; abdominal pain or swelling; chest pain; coughing or trouble breathing; fatigue;  fever night sweats; and weight loss.

Erykah Badu Talks Past Loves, Freestyling 'Tyrone' And More On 'The Breakfast Club'

related stories

'Breakfast' With Badu

Erykah Badu talks past loves, freestyling 'Tyrone' and more

Rumor Control

Chrissy Teigen isn't the reason Tyra Banks left 'FABLife'

First Look

A star-studded 'Barbershop' trailer hits the web [VIDEO]

Family Motivation

Willow Smith helped Will Smith fall back in love with acting