Rocky IV actor Dolph Lundgren, who has roles in the upcoming The Expendables 4 and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, has revealed an eight-year battle with cancer that was considered terminal prior to what he says was a more successful round of treatment.
In an interview on the syndicated interview series In Depth With Graham Bensinger, Lundgren says he was first diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2015, information he’s sharing now for the first time. After surgery, he remained symptom-free for about five years but during a doctor visit during a trip to Sweden in 2020 was found to have additional tumors in the kidney and liver areas.
At that point, the actor says, he was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer with only 2-3 years to live. He says that at the time he thought, “I’ve had a great life. I’ve live like five lifetimes in one. So it wasn’t like I felt bitter but I felt sorry for my kids and my fiancé.”
Eventually Lundgren sought an additional opinion from oncologist Dr. Alexandra Drakaki of UCLA Medical Center, and was placed on a more recently-developed medicinal treatment. Lundgren says the treatment – which he underwent while filming both The Expendables 4 and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom – has proven effective in reducing the size of the tumors by 90%.
According to Lundgren, he now needs to have an additional surgery, but he’s optimistic that after the operation he’ll have “no cancer activity.” Dr. Drakaki says during the video segment that she now hopes Lundgren’s survival rate will be measured in “years” rather than “months.”
“My hope and goal is to try to keep him on this medication as long as possible and just keep getting biopsies as things change within his body to try to identify newer targets for treatment,” she said.
Asked about his outlook now, Lundgren says, “You just appreciate being lucky enough to be alive.”
Watch the interview above.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.