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Jane Fonda is battling cancer.
The 84-year-old actress took to Instagram on Friday to reveal that she’s begun chemotherapy treatment for a “very treatable” form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“I feel very lucky,” Fonda wrote, citing an encouraging statistic that 80 percent of people survive. “I’m also lucky because I have health insurance and access to the best doctors and treatments. I realize, and it’s painful, that I am privileged in this. Almost every family in America has had to deal with cancer at one time or another, and far too many don’t have access to the quality health care I am receiving, and this is not right.”
Fonda continued by using her diagnosis to draw attention to links between fossil fuels and cancer, saying that her disease is “fossil fuel-based.” According to the nonpartisan Environmental and Energy Study Institute, “the use of fossil fuels — coal, oil and natural gas — results in significant climate, environmental and health costs.” Per the org’s 2021 study, such health issues include asthma, cancer, heart disease and premature death.
“I’m doing chemo for six months and am handling the treatments quite well and, believe me, I will not let any of this interfere with my climate activism,” added the lifelong activist. “Cancer is a teacher and I’m paying attention to the lessons it holds for me. One thing it’s shown me already is the importance of community. Of growing and deepening one’s community so that we are not alone. And the cancer, along with my age — almost 85 — definitely teaches the importance of adapting to new realities.”
Fonda has faced a variety of health issues over her life. In an interview with British Vogue, the Grace and Frankie star said she has “had a lot of cancer,” adding that she often sees skin doctors for removal procedures. In 2018, while appearing on NBC’s Today, she said she had one removed from her lip. In 2010, she also revealed that she had removed a non-invasive breast tumor and was said to be “cancer-free” shortly thereafter.
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