Dolph Lundgren, the veteran Swedish actor who is most famously known to play Ivan Drago in the Rocky franchise, revealed that for eight long years, he has been in the battle to beat cancer.
It wasn’t like I was bitter about it: Dolph Lundgren
The 65-year-old Swede had his first positive cancer diagnosis in 2015; when a tumor was located in one of his kidneys and sometime later it was removed at a hospital in Los Angeles, California.
In an interview for In Depth With Graham Bensinger, Lungren revealed that after his first cancer diagnosis, he underwent scans every six months, although only five years had passed when he returned to be diagnosed with another tumor, this time in the liver.
“There’s a picture that I was going to direct and star in that was starting in the fall. The doctor called me when I was in Alabama ready to shoot and said, ‘They found one more tumor in the liver,’” Lundgren said in the interview. “At that point, it started to hit me that this is kind of something serious. 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.’”
After undergoing therapy, “Ivan Drago” stated that he suffered terrible side effects, and even after all that, it was an alarming revelation when he was informed by the doctor that he would only have two or three years to live.
“You kind of look at your life and going, ‘I’ve had a great life.’ I’ve had a freaking great life. I’ve lived like five lifetimes in one already with everything I’ve done,” the Creed II star said. “So it wasn’t like I was bitter about it. It was just like I feel sorry for my kids and my fiancé and the people around you because I’m still a fairly young guy and fairly active.”
Lungren added that he sought a second opinion from Dr. Alexandra Drakaki, who found that the Swede could be cured with medication, and with a series of treatments, his cancer has shrunk by 90% and is already in the process of removing tissue from the tumors.
“Now I’m in the process of taking out the remaining scar tissue of these tumors,” the actor added. “Hopefully when they take these out, there is no cancer activity, and the medication that I’m taking is going to suppress everything else.” [H/T The Hollywood Reporter]