Dolph Lundgren, the actor known for his roles in the 1985’s “Rocky IV” and 2018’s “Creed II,” shared he’s been battling cancer for the last eight years in a candid interview.
During the interview on In Depth With Graham Bensinger, the action star spoke openly about health struggles he’s faced for much of the past decade.
The Rocky star said his cancer battle started when doctors found a tumor in his kidney in 2015. The doctors were able to remove the cancerous tumor in his kidney, “then I did scans every six months, then you do it every year and it was fine, you know, for five years,” Lundgren said.
But in 2020, “I was back in Sweden and had some kind of acid reflux,” Lundgren recalled. “I didn’t know what it was. So I did an MRI, and they found there were a few more tumors around the area.”
Six additional tumors were removed during surgery, but one more tumor had grown into the “size of a lemon” in his liver in the fall of 2021 and doctors where unable to remove it.
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“They did a scan to prepare for surgery, and the surgeon called me and said, ‘No, it’s grown now. It’s too big. We can’t take it out. It’s like the size of a small lemon.’ So if they can’t take it out, that means you have to do systemic therapy.” Lundgren said. “But then I started getting these side effects where I got diarrhea, and I lost a lot of weight.”
After his doctor told the Don’t Kill It actor to “spend more time with family,” Lundgren realized that the doctor didn’t think he had much time to live.
“So I kind of asked him, ‘How long do you think I’ve got left?’ And I think he said two or three years, but I could tell in his voice that he probably thought it was less,” Lundgren said.
“So I kind of asked him, ‘How long do you think I’ve got left?’ And I think he said two or three years, but I could tell in his voice that he probably thought it was less.”
The Aquaman star confessed he wasn’t “bitter about” the possibility of dying, saying that he had a “frickin’ great life.”
“I thought it was it for sure,” he continued. “You kind of look at your life and go I’ve had a frickin’ great life. I’ve lived like five lifetimes in one. So it wasn’t like I was bitter about it.”
“I’ve had a frickin’ great life. I’ve lived like five lifetimes in one. So it wasn’t like I was bitter about it.”
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Even as his cancer continued to progress, Lundgren decided to get a second opinion from Dr. Alexandra Drakaki, who made a key discovery about his case.
The California-based oncologist discovered a mutation in one of his growths that is common in lung cancer allowing doctors to try other potential treatments.
“Within three months, things were shrinking by 20 to 30 percent,” Lundgren said.
By the end of 2022 and his tumors had shrunk by about “90 percent,” allowing him to surgically remove all the remaining scar tissue.
Lundgren is set to have a number of upcoming premieres including his role as Gunnar Jensen in Expendables 4, out Sept. 22, and King Nereus in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, out Dec. 20.