Actress Jane Fonda has revealed that she has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. In a post to her 1.9 million followers on Instagram, the 84-year-old announced that she was suffering from Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Fonda described it as a "very curable cancer" and that she feels very happy about it. The Hollywood icon used her announcement to highlight the state of health care in the US and said she will continue her climate activism.
She wrote that she feels lucky because she has health insurance and access to the best doctors and treatments. "This is a very treatable cancer. 80% of people survive, so I feel very lucky. 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." she said.
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a rarer cancer that develops in the lymphatic system. Fonda wrote that she will go through six months of chemotherapy, but that she "will not let any of this get in the way of her climate activism." The Oscar-winning actress made her big screen debut in 1960, rising to fame by starring in films such as "Barbarella," "Nine to Five" and "On Golden Pond." Her last role was in the Netflix comedy series "Grace and Frankie".
Fonda is also known as a political activist.
In the 1960s, she was a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War, and recently became a campaigner against climate change. In 2016, she spent Thanksgiving among protesters at Standing Rock, demonstrating against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Fonda said her diagnosis highlighted the importance of community to her
"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." "We’re living through the most consequential time in human history because what we do or don’t do right now will determine what kind of future there will be and I will not allow cancer to keep me from doing all I can, using every tool in my toolbox and that very much includes continuing to build this Fire Drill Fridays community and finding new ways to use our collective strength to make change." she concluded.