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Two-time Oscar-winning actress and political activist Jane Fonda has announced that she has non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The 84-year-old assured fans over Instagram not to worry because it “is a very treatable cancer. 80% of people survive, so I feel very lucky.”
“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 added.
For many years the actress has been an activist for a host of liberal causes. Most recently Fonda has focused her efforts on climate change. Many people have seen her on Capitol Hill wearing a red coat as she called for more attention to the world’s climate crisis.
Fonda pointed out that “people need to know that fossil fuels cause cancer. So do pesticides, many of which are fossil fuel-based, like mine.” She informed her fans that she has been undergoing chemotherapy for the past six months. Fonda added that she believes that she has been “handling the treatments quite well.”
The actress believes that “Cancer is a teacher.” One that she is planning on “paying attention to.” Her diagnosis has already taught her “the importance of community…so that we are not alone.” It has also shown her “the importance of adapting to new realities.”
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer that attacks a person’s lymphatic system — the part of the body’s germ-fighting immune system. This cancer causes the white blood cells called lymphocytes to grow abnormally. This can form growths — tumors — thought a person’s body.
Advancements in the treatment and diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have helped improve people’s prognosis.
In her post, Fonda pointed out that practically every family in the United States “has had to deal with cancer at one time or another.” However, not many of them are “privileged” like Fonda is and “have health insurance and access to the best doctors and treatments.” She added that this fact was “painful” for her because “far too many don’t have access to the quality health care [she’s] receiving and this is not right.”
Written by Sheena Robertson
People: Jane Fonda, 84, Diagnosed with ‘Very Treatable’ Cancer and Is Undergoing Chemo: ‘I Feel Very Lucky’
NBC News: Jane Fonda announces she’s been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Mayo Clinic: Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma