Jane Fonda Shares Diagnosis: ‘Cancer Is a Teacher’



Some news this week from actress and activist Jane Fonda via a social media post has fans sending her well wishes and messages of support. “My dear friends, I have something personal I want to share,” the 84-year-old wrote Friday at the start of a long Instagram post, per NPR. “I’ve been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and have started chemo treatments.” Fonda noted she’ll be doing chemo for six months, and that so far, she’s been doing well with her treatments. “This is a very treatable cancer. 80% of people survive, so I feel very lucky,” she added.

Cancer.net puts its numbers close to hers, noting that the overall five-year survival rate for Americans with this type of cancer—which starts in white blood cells that are part of the immune system, typically in the lymph nodes and lymphatic tissue—is 73%. The Grace and Frankie star, who noted in her post that “cancer is a teacher,” also acknowledged her own privilege in having the money and access to resources that will allow her to better manage her illness. “I have health insurance and access to the best doctors and treatments,” she wrote. “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.”

The activist, known for her work involving feminist issues, LGBTQ rights, and environmentalism also informed fans she wouldn’t be pulling away from her causes. “The midterms are looming, and they are beyond consequential so you can count on me to be right there together with you as we grow our army of climate champions,” she wrote. People notes that fans—including big names like Reese Witherspoon, Katie Couric, and Mark Ruffalo—flocked to social media to offer virtual hugs to Fonda. “You are my hero,” actress Diane Keaton wrote in the comments section of Fonda’s post. “You are a warrior. All of my life I have been in awe of all that you do. I will continue to admire the crusader you have always been and always will be.” (Read more Jane Fonda stories.)

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