Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren has revealed his eight-year-long cancer battle, after first discovering and removing a tumor from his kidney in 2015.

During an interview on In Depth With Graham Besinger, Lundgren explained that following his initial procedure, he “did scans every six months, then you do it every year and it was fine, you know, for five years.”

In 2020, however, the 65-year-old martial artist recalled Swedish doctors finding “a few more tumors around the area” after he had experienced “some kind of acid reflux” and did an MRI. After having discovered six tumors in 2020, Lundgren had a procedure to have all but one that was too large removed. He began systemic therapy to treat the remaining tumor but by fall 2021, doctors discovered several more tumors when Lundgren arrived in London to film movie sequels for the Aquaman and The Expendables franchises.



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“We realized it was a lot worse than we thought,” Lundgren told Graham Besinger. “[The doctor] kind of started talking about all these different tumors, like, in the lung and the stomach and the spine, outside the kidneys. He started saying these things like, ‘You should probably take a break and spend more time with your family,’ and so forth.”

“I asked him, ‘How long do you think I’ve got left?’ I think he said two or three years, but I could tell in his voice that he probably thought it was less.”

After getting a second opinion, oncologist Alexandra Drakaki discovered that his kidney cancer was growing more like lung cancer and overhauled his treatment accordingly. Lundgren believes that if he “had gone on the other treatment, I’d have had about three to four months left. I couldn’t believe that it would be that radical of a difference.”

He said that as a result of the new treatment, his tumors began shrinking by around 20% and 30% within a three-month period.

Since then, Lundgren explained that he spent 2022 “basically watching these medications do their thing and finally things had shrunk to about 90%. Now I’m in the process of taking out the remaining scar tissue of these tumors… The prognosis is that, hopefully, when they take these out, there’s no cancer activity and the medication that I’m taking is gonna suppress everything else.”

“You appreciate life a lot more. You appreciate every day. Every day I can be with the people I love,” Lundgren reflected, holding back tears. “You just appreciate having a– being lucky enough to be alive appreciate every moment there is.”

Despite his overwhelming cancer battle, Lundgren has reprised his role as King Nereus in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which is expected to open in theaters on December 20. He has also reprised the character, Gunner Jensen, for a fourth time in The Expendables 4, which is set to release on September 22.

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