Dolph Lundgren secretly battled cancer for eight years: ‘They said I had two to three years left’
Dolph Lundgren secretly battled cancer for eight years.
The ‘Universal Soldier’ actor, 65, opened up for the first time on Wednesday (10.05.23) about fighting the disease, and admitted he thought it “could” have been the result of his steroid use early in his career.
Revealing on the ‘In Depth with Graham Bensinger’ show how he was told he only had “two to three years” left to live after tumours were found on his kidney, which then spread to his lungs, spine, liver and stomach: “They found a tumour in my kidney and they took it out… but then they did a biopsy and it was cancerous.
“Then I did scans every six months, then you do it every year, then it was fine for about five years.”
Dolph’s cancer returned in 2020 and doctors found six tumours in his kidneys and liver.
The growth was too big to be surgically removed, so Dolph started chemotherapy, which his fiancée Emma Krokdal, 25, told the show led to him suffering a series of horrific side-effects.
She said: “His mouth got really sore, his hands got sore, his feet, and he couldn’t eat anything warm or anything cold, anything spicy.
“So that was a struggle to get food down so he kept losing weight.”
Dad-of-two Dolph, who has daughters Ida, 26, and Greta, 21, with his interior designer ex-wife Anette Qviberg, 57, said he started to come to terms with the fact he was probably going to die after being told he was a “lost case”.
He added: “They started saying things like, ‘You should take a break and spend more time with your family.’
“So I kinda asked him, ‘How long do you think I have left?’ and I think he said, ‘Two to three years,’ but I could tell in his voice that it was less.
“I thought it was it for sure. You kind of look at your life and go, ‘I’ve had a frickin’ great life. I’ve lived like five lifetimes in one.’
“So it wasn’t like I was bitter about it.”
Dolph turned things around after he met Dr Alexandra Drakaki, who found a mutation in one of his tumours that is commonly seen in lung cancer, which opened up a new range of potential treatments.
Dolph said: “Within three months, things were shrinking by 20 to 30 per cent.”
By the end of 2022, he added they had reduced by about “90 per cent,” which allowed for surgical removal.
Dolph said his nightmare battle means he “appreciates life a lot more” and feels “lucky to be alive”.