Actor Dolph Lundgren has revealed he has been battling cancer for eight years and speculated whether his past use of steroids for bodybuilding is to blame
The Swedish actor talked about his battle in ‘In Depth with Graham Besinger’ and revealed that he was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015.
Lundgren, 65, says he went into remission but the cancer returned in 2020 and he had 2-3 years to live from one doctor.
The star went for a second opinion and the treatment he is now receiving has resulted in the tumors shrinking.
In an excerpt from the interview, while still wearing a hospital gown, he says, “It’s the day after my surgery, they removed one tumor, then they removed two more that they found and three more small ones.
“Hopefully it’s cleaned up, if it dies, it dies.”
Pictured: Lundgren with actor Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV
In the interview, Lundgren is seen here the day after he had a slew of tumors removed from his body
Lundgren referenced his memorable quote in the 1985 movie Rocky IV, after his character Ivan Drago killed Apollo Creed during their practice match.
In a conversation with Bensinger, he shared how he discovered he had cancer again in 2020.
Lundgren says: ‘In 2020 I was back in Sweden and I had some kind of acid reflux, I didn’t know what it was, so I did an MRI.
“They found there were a few more tumors around that area.”
He continues, “They found another tumor in the liver so I was like aw s**** okay.
“It was then that it dawned on me that this was something serious. The surgeon called me and said it had grown, it was too big, it had grown to the size of a small lemon.
“I asked them how long I have left, I think he said 2-3 years, but I heard from his voice that he thought it was less. I thought that was it for sure.’
Lundgren said taking steroids had an impact on his body
Pictured: Lundgren, who says he has been battling cancer since 2015
Pictured: Lundgren and his fiancee Emma Krokdal in April this year
He said: ‘I tried steroids in the ’80s, ’90s. I don’t know if that has anything to do with the cancer, of course I noticed because it might have something to do with it.
“I’ve thought about it, you always think you made a mistake. I think there may be a connection between testosterone therapy and cancer.
“I was on steroids when I was younger, maybe for ten years. Depends on the kind of film I’ve made.’
Fiancée Emma Krokdal told Bensinger: “His mouth hurt really bad, his hands hurt and he couldn’t eat anything.
“That was a struggle, he lost weight. We realized it was much worse than we thought, they started talking about tumors in the lungs, stomach, spine, outside the kidneys.’
Pictured: Lundgren in the role of Ivan Drago in the 1985 film Rocky IV
In the interview, Lundgren admits that he used steroids in the 1980s and 1990s. Dolph is pictured in 1990
His daughter Ida Lundgren told Bensinger, “It hit me when I had a deep conversation with my father about what would happen if he passed away.
“That was a horrible conversation, it was a tough time. I have to be strong for my sister.’
Lundgren said he then sought a second opinion on his diagnosis and spoke to Dr Alexandra Drakaki.
After a change in treatment, Lundgren says, his tumors had shrunk by 20 to 30 percent within three months.
Lundgren continues, “You just appreciate being lucky enough to be alive, and you appreciate every moment there is.”
Largely known for his roles in action-packed movies, Lundgren’s breakthrough role was as Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.
He would later reprise his role as Drago in Creed II in 2018.
After a long stint working on direct-to-video movies in the 90s, he returned to Hollywood in 2010 in The Expendables, alongside Rocky co-star Sylvester Stallone.
He has since reprized his role of Gunnar Jensen in the second and third films in the series, with a fourth expected later this year.
The full episode will be out later this month.