Oscar-winning actor Jane Fonda announced Friday she has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but vowed chemotherapy won’t slow her political activism.
Fonda, 84, said she is confident of overcoming this health crisis.
“So my dear friends, I have something personal that I want to share. I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and started chemotherapy,” she posted on Instagram.
“This is a very treatable cancer. 80% of people survive, so I feel very lucky.”
dr. William Dahut, Chief Scientific Officer of the American Cancer Society, agreed that Fonda has a fighting chance depending on many factors.
“It may be a curable malignancy, which is largely dependent on the subtype of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and the extent of its spread at the time of diagnosis,” the oncologist told NBC News.
“Being optimistic is certainly a possibility for her and could very well be realized.”
The acclaimed actor also said she has the better chance of survival, based largely on the privilege of having “health insurance and access to the best doctors and treatments.”
“Almost every family in America has had to deal with cancer and far too many don’t have access to the quality health care I receive and this is not good,” she added.
dr. Dahut said he was moved by Fonda’s statement that she is luckier than most Americans.
“Your survival is better with a stage 2 tumor than with a stage 1 tumor if you are underinsured,” he told NBC News.
“I thought that was a very powerful statement. Cancer is such a terrifying experience and recognizing one’s privilege and ability to get the best therapies is very powerful.”
Fonda, who won Best Actress awards for her “Klute” and “Coming Home,” told supporters this diagnosis won’t slow her down.
“I won’t let this hinder my climate activism,” she said.
While Fonda has been an activist for many liberal causes for a long time, in recent years she has focused her efforts on climate change.
She was a regular at protests on Capitol Hill, donning a red coat and calling for more attention to the world’s climate crisis.
Cancer and the climate crisis are linked, according to Fonda.
“We also need to talk a lot more, not just about cures, but about causes so we can eliminate them,” she added. “People need to know, for example, that fossil fuels cause cancer.”