Dolph Lundgren says he’s had cancer for eight years and was warned in 2020 disease was terminal

Dolph Lundgren, 65, reveals he has been battling lung cancer for eight years and worries his steroid use is to blame and riffs on Rocky IV catchphrase as he talks about tumor, saying ‘if it dies, it dies’

  • Actor Lundgren, 65, has opened up on how he was first diagnosed with cancer in 2015
  • He said he was given only a few years to live by one doctor after the cancer returned in 2020
  • Lundgren has also said he believes his use of steroids to have caused the cancer

Actor Dolph Lundgren has revealed he has been battling cancer for eight years and speculated whether his past use of steroids for bodybuilding is to blame 

The Swedish actor opened up about his battle on ‘In Depth with Graham Besinger’ and how he was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015.

Lundgren, 65, says he went into remission but then the cancer returned in 2020, and was told he had 2-3 years left to live by one doctor. 

Lundgren went for a second opinion and the treatment he is now being administered has resulted in them shrinking. 

In a clip from the interview, while still wearing a hospital gown, he says: ‘It’s the day after my surgery, they took out one tumor, then they took out another two they found and another three. small ones.

‘Hopefully it’s cleaned out, if it dies, it dies.’

Lundgren had been referring to his memorable quote in the 1985 film Rocky IV, after his character Ivan Drago kills Apollo Creed during their exhibition match. 

Speaking to Bensinger, he spoke of how he discovered he had cancer again in 2020.

Lundgren says: ‘In 2020, I was back in Sweden and I had some kind of acid reflux, I didn’t know what it was so I did an MRI.

‘They found that there were a few more tumors around that area.’

He continues: ‘They found one more tumor in the liver, so I was like aw s**** okay.

‘At that point it started to hit me that this was something serious. The surgeon called me and said it had grown, it was too big, it had grown to the size of a small lemon.

‘I asked them how long do I have left, I think he said 2-3 years but I could tell in his voice he thought it was less. I thought that was it for sure.’

Lundgren said that the use of steroids had an impact on his body 

Pictured: Lundgren, who says he has been battling cancer since 2015

Pictured: Lundgren, who says he has been battling cancer since 2015

He said: ‘I tried steroids back in the 80s, 90s. I don’t know if that is something to do with the cancer, of course it struck me as it could have something to do with it.

‘I thought about it, you always think you’ve made a mistake. I think maybe there is some connection between testosterone therapy and cancer.

‘I was on steroids when I was younger, on and off for maybe ten years. Depending on the kind of movie I made.’

Fiancée Emma Krokdal told Bensinger: ‘His mouth got really sore, his hands got sore and he couldn’t eat anything.


‘That was a struggle, he was losing weight. We realized it was a lot worse than we thought, they started talking about tumors in the lung, stomach, spine, outside the kidneys.’

His daughter Ida Lundgren told Bensinger: ‘It hit me when I had a deep conversation with my Dad about what would happen if he passed away. 

‘That was a horrible conversation, it was a tough time. I have to be strong for my sister.’

Lundgren said he then went seeking a second opinion on his diagnosis and spoke to Dr Alexandra Drakaki.

Following a change in treatment, Lundgren says with within three months his tumors had been shrinking between twenty and thirty per cent. 

Lundgren continues: ‘You just appreciate being lucky enough to be alive, and you appreciate every moment there is.’

The full episode is due to debut later this month.  

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