Dolph Lundgren, ‘Rocky IV’ actor who played Ivan Drago, reveals secret 8-year cancer battle

Dolph Lundgren, an actor known for his role as Ivan Drago in 1985’s “Rocky IV” and 2018’s “Creed II,” shared he’s been battling cancer for the last eight years.

The Swedish actor, 65, spoke about his diagnosis for the first time publicly in a video interview on “In Depth With Graham Bensinger,” published Wednesday, saying his cancer was initially considered terminal before he sought a second opinion and found a medication that worked for him.

Lundgren said a tumor was discovered in his kidney and removed in 2015. A biopsy of the tumor found it to be cancerous.

Then, in 2020, Lundgren said he experienced what he thought was acid reflux, which led him to get an MRI that revealed more tumors in his kidney area. A tumor was also later found in his liver.

Lundgren said his doctor told him to “take a break and spend more time with your family.” When Lundgren asked how long he had left to live, the doctor replied about two or three years.

Dolph Lundgren, an actor known for his role as Ivan Drago in 1985's

Dolph Lundgren, an actor known for his role as Ivan Drago in 1985’s

“I thought it was it for sure,” he said. “I’ve had a great life. I’ve lived like five lifetimes in one, so it wasn’t like I felt bitter, but I felt sorry for my kids and my fiancée.”

With nothing to lose, Lundgren said he sought out a second opinion. The new doctor reevaluated his tumor, finding a mutation that suggested it could be treated with a medication with off-label use.

Lundgren’s condition has improved dramatically since taking the medication, he said.

“Within three months things were shrinking by 20, 30%,” he said. “2022 was basically watching these medications do their thing, and finally things had shrunk about 90%.”

Lundgren said he’s now in the process of having the scar tissue from his tumors removed.

“The prognosis is that, hopefully, when they take these out there’s no cancer activity and the medication that I’m taking is going to suppress everything else,” he said.

The actor said his health journey has made him “appreciate life a lot more.”

“You appreciate every day,” he continued. “You just appreciate being lucky enough to be alive.”

By the power of Grayskull! Dolph Lundgren, William Shatner celebrate He-Man’s 40th at Comic-Con

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dolph Lundgren, Ivan Drago in ‘Rocky IV,’ shares cancer diagnosis

Originally published May 11, 2023 at 6:27 AM

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