Dolph Lundgren Reveals Eight-Year Cancer Battle, Doctors Told Him He Had Two or Three Years Left to Live Ahead of Filming ‘Aquaman 2’

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Dolph Lundgren revealed for the first time during an interview on “In Depth With Graham Bensinger” that he’s been privately battling cancer on and off for the last eight years. Doctors first discovered and removed a cancerous tumor on the actor’s kidney in 2015.

“Then I did scans every six months, then you do it every year and it was fine, you know, for five years,” Lundgren said. “In 2020, I was back in Sweden and had some kind of acid reflux or… I didn’t know what it was. So I did an MRI and they found there were a few more tumors around the area.”

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Lundgren said six more tumors were discovered at the time, one of which had grown too large to remove so he had to start systemic therapy. More tumors were discovered in the fall of 2021, when Lundgren arrived in London to film movie sequels to his “Aquaman” and “The Expendables” franchises.

“We realized it was a lot worse than we thought,” Lundgren said. “[The doctor] kind of started talking about all these different tumors, like, in the lung and the stomach and the spine, outside the kidneys. He started saying these things like, ‘You should probably take take a break and spend more time with your family,’ and so forth. I asked him, ‘How long do you think I’ve got left?’ I think he said two or three years, but I could tell in his voice that he probably thought it was less.”

Lundgren eventually got a second opinion from a doctor in London who discovered that his kidney cancer was mutating more like lung cancer. The doctor overhauled the actor’s treatment to approach it as if his cancer was lung cancer.

“If I had gone on the other treatment, I’d have had about three to four months left,” Lundgren said, adding that the new treatment started shrinking his tumors by around 20% and 30% within a three-month period.

“2022 was basically watching these medications do their thing,” Lundgren continued. “Finally things had shrunk to about 90%. Now I’m in the process of taking out the remaining scar tissue in those tumors… The prognosis is that, hopefully, when they take these out, there’s no cancer activity and the medication that I’m taking is gonna suppress everything else.”

Lundgren is reprising his DC role of King Nereus in Warner Bros.’ “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” opening in theaters Dec. 20. He’s also reprising the character of Gunner Jensen for a fourth time in “The Expendables 4,” opening Sept. 22 from Lionsgate.

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