'Rocky IV' star Dolph Lundgren reveals private 8-year cancer battle
"Rocky IV" star Dolph Lundgren is revealing a private cancer battle he has gone through for the past eight years.
The 65-year-old Swedish actor opened up about his health scare during an interview on "In Depth with Graham Bensinger," telling the host that doctors discovered a cancerous tumor in his kidney in 2015 which they were able to successfully remove.
Lundgren said routine scans were done following the procedure and things were "fine" for five years until, in 2020, when doctors found "a few more tumors around the area" after doing an MRI.
Six more tumors were surgically removed, but doctors later told him that one tumor had grown to "the size of a small lemon" and it was too big to be removed and suggested he do systemic therapy.
It was then that he said he "started getting these side effects where I got diarrhea, and I lost a lot of weight."
Lundgren said his doctor told him to "take a break and spend more time with family" and he got the feeling that they thought he didn't have long 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," he recalled. "I thought it was it for sure."
The "Creed II" star said he wasn't "bitter" after hearing this news, as he said he's had "a frickin' great life" and has "lived like five lifetimes in one already with everything I've done," but he did feel bad for his loved ones, including his two daughters, Ida and Greta, and his fiancée, Emma Krokdal.
With this prognosis, Lundgren said he sought a second opinion and his new doctor discovered a mutation in one of the tumors that opened the door to additional treatments, which have proven to be successful.
"Within three months, things were shrinking by 20 to 30 percent," he said, adding that by 2022 the tumors had shrunk by about "90 percent. He's currently in the process of taking out the remaining scar tissue from these tumors, he said.
Lundgren will be seen in two big movies later this year, returning in "Expendables 4," out Sept. 22, and appearing in "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom," out Dec. 20.
As for how his cancer battle has impacted the way he lives his life, the actor said, "You appreciate life a lot more. You appreciate every day."