Dolph Lundgren has been seen for the first time since revealing his secret eight-year battle with lung cancer – as the star stepped out for lunch in LA on Wednesday.
The Swedish actor, 65, known to millions for his role as merciless Soviet boxer Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, confirmed he has been battling cancer for the last eight years during Wednesday’s edition of In Depth with Graham Besinger.
Lundgren looked in good spirits as he joined his fiancee Emma Krokdal, 25, for a meal in Beverly Hills.
The star wore a blue tee, tailored white blazer and black jeans, teamed with monochrome sneakers.
Emma matched her partner in a blazer, tee and jeans as she chatted to him outside the restaurant.
Sighting: Dolph Lundgren has been seen for the first time since revealing his secret eight-year battle with lung cancer – as the star stepped out for lunch in LA on Wednesday
Out and about: Lundgren looked in good spirits as he joined his fiancee Emma Krokdal, 25, for a meal in Beverly Hills
Lundgren revealed he was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015 and speculated whether his past use of steroids for bodybuilding is to blame.
Discussing his diagnosis with Besinger, the actor says he went into remission but the cancer returned in 2020, resulting in doctors giving him a sobering 2-3 year life expectancy.
The star went for a second opinion and the treatment he is now being administered has resulted in the tumors 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,’ he added, referring to his memorable quote in the 1985 film Rocky IV, after his character Drago kills Apollo Creed during their exhibition match.
Speaking to Bensinger, he recalled 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.’
Surprise: The Swedish actor confirmed he has been battling cancer for the last eight years during Wednesday’s edition of In Depth with Graham Besinger
Actor: The star wore a blue tee, tailored white blazer and black jeans, teamed with monochrome sneakers
Engaged: Emma matched her partner in a blazer, tee and jeans as she chatted to him outside the restaurant
Chat: The pair were seen in conversation outside The Ivy
Stroll: Dolph has been supported by his partner of three years
THE DANGERS OF STEROID ABUSE
Anabolic steroids are powerful, manufactured drugs that mimic the effects of the testosterone.
Such medicines are prescription-only, given to stimulate muscle growth following surgery and to treat some kinds of anaemia.
Men with low testosterone levels can also get them drugs, which can come as pills, injections, gels and patches.
Yet, thousands across the world take the drugs without medical advice in pursuit of Hollywood-like muscles or as performance enhancers.
Doctors warn, however, the drugs — classed as a Class C in Britain and a schedule III in the US — are addictive and have a catalogue of serious side-effects.
Side effects can include reduced sperm count, infertility, shrunken testicles, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, breast development, severe acne and stomach pain.
Fears: Dolph Lundgren has questioned whether his past steroid use contributed to his lung cancer diagnosis (pictured working out in 1987)
Having too much testosterone in the body can lead to increased aggression, dubbed ‘roid rage’, insomnia and anxiety.
Studies have also linked steroids to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Anabolic steroids are different to corticosteroids, another type of steroid drug that’s more commonly prescribed.
When doctors prescribe steroids, they always advise coming off slowly by gradually reducing the dose. Sudden withdrawal can trigger symptoms including depression, insomnia and headaches.
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.
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.’
Chat: The star was seen speaking with Emma amid his cancer reveal
Icon: The acting legend was seen spending time with loved ones at the lunch
Talk: The Creed star looked focused as he spoke with his loved ones
Stroll: Dolph and Emma were seen chatting as they walked down the street
Good to see you: Dolph kissed his companion on the cheek during the day
Pictured: Lundgren playing Soviet boxer Ivan Drago alongside actor Sylvester Stallone in 1985 film Rocky IV
Fighter: The actor, who is famed for his muscular physique, says he has been battling cancer since 2015
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 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.’
Concern: In the interview, Lundgren admits to having used steroids during the 80s and 90s (Dolph is pictured in 1990)
Largely known for his roles in action packed films, Lundgren’s breakthrough role was as Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.
He would later reprised his role as Drago in Creed II in 2018.
After a long spell of working on direct-to-video films during the 90s, he returned to Hollywood in 2010 in The Expendables, alongside Rocky co-star Sylvester Stallone.
Since then he has reprised his role of Gunnar Jensen in the second and third movie in the series, with a forth expected later this year.
The full episode is due to debut later this month.
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