Ethan Zohn

Monty Brinton/CBS

He survived Africa, but now he'll face an even more frightening foe: cancer.

Ethan Zohn, the winner of Survivor: Africa, the series' third cycle, has begun a fierce battle with the disease, the 35-year-old tells People.

"This is the ultimate game of Survivor and there's really only one outcome, and that's to win," he says. "There's no other option."

Night sweats and strange itching led the reality-TV star to think he had some sort of skin condition until, on April 30, he was diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin's disease. Shortly after a swollen lymph node and a mass on the left side of his chest were found, doctors declared Zohn had a rare form of the disease called CD20-positive Hodgkin's lymphoma.

He began chemotherapy treatments last Friday.

"My life flashed before my eyes," Zohn says of hearing his diagnosis. Both he and his longtime girlfriend, Survivor season-six winner Jenna Morasca, have lost parents to cancer.

However, the pair have good reason to be hopeful—survival rates are up to 90 percent.

Still, not unlike Farrah Fawcett, Zohn will lose his signature curly hair within the next few weeks. However, instead of watching it fall out Izzie-style, he's planning a date with an electric razor.

"My hair is my identity," he told the magazine. "I'll get a Mohawk or something fun that I've always wanted to do…I'll roll with the punches as it comes to me. That's how I work," he says. "I'm not getting voted out of this one.

Here's hopin' Zohn will outwit, outplay and, most important, outlast this terrifying news.


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