Fonda said she has begun chemotherapy to treat the cancer, but it won’t slow her down.
“I’m doing chemo for 6 months and am handling the treatments quite well and, believe me, I will not let any of this interfere with my climate activism,” Fonda wrote.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer that spreads through the lymphatic system in “a non-orderly manner,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The cancer becomes more common among older patients.
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the overall five-year survival rate for American adults is 73%.
Despite her diagnosis, Fonda said she is lucky to have the resources to fight the disease the best way possible.
“I realize, and it’s painful, that I am privileged in this,” she said. “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. We also need to be talking much more not just about cures but about causes so we can eliminate them.”
The 84-year-old actress also said the diagnosis has taught her the importance of community.
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“Of growing and deepening one’s community so that we are not alone,” she said. “And the cancer, along with my age — almost 85 — definitely teaches the importance of adapting to new realities.”
Fonda is one of Hollywood’s long-working actors, with her first role dating back to 1960’s “Tall Story.” Since then, Fonda has received numerous acting honors, including two Academy Awards for Best Actress. Her first win was for 1971’s “Klute,” followed by her second in 1978 for “Coming Home.” Altogether, Fonda has been Oscar-nominated seven times.
Until April, the political activist (and former exercise video mogul) starred in Netflix’s sitcom “Grace and Frankie,” opposite fellow Hollywood veteran Lily Tomlin.
Fonda’s Friday statement also came with a political message, with the actor writing: “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.”