‘Rocky’ Star Dolph Lundgren, 65, Reveals He’s Been Battling Lung Cancer For 8 Years

The actor revealed he's had lung cancer for years and speculated as to how it was caused.

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Image Credit: Stewart Cook/Shutterstock

Iconic Rocky actor Dolph Lundgren revealed in a new interview that he’s been battling lung cancer for eight years. In a new interview on In Depth with Graham Besingerthe 65-year-old actor opened up about his diagnosis, saying that it came in 2015, then went into remission. “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,” he told Graham. “They found that there were a few more tumors around that area. They found one more tumor in the liver, so I was like aw s****, okay.

The Expendables star then explained that was when he realized how serious the condition was. “At that point it started to hit me that this was something serious,” he continued. “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.”

During the interview, Dolph also shared a clip from the hospital, even wearing a hospital gown. “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,” he told fans in the video. “Hopefully it’s cleaned out, if it dies, it dies.”

Dolph is currently engaged to Emma Krokdal, 26, who shared during the interview when she realized it was “worse” than they thought. “His mouth got really sore, his hands got sore and he couldn’t eat anything,” she said. “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.”

Dolph Lundgren
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Dolph also floated a theory during the interview of why the cancer occurred. “I tried steroids back in the 80s, 90s,” he admitted. “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.”

Dolph Lundgren and Sylvester Stallone
Dolph and Sylvester Stallone face off in ‘Rocky.’ (MGM /Everett Collection)

The famously buff actor said his steroid use was directly related to his work in the movies. “I was on steroids when I was younger, on and off for maybe ten years,” he said. “Depending on the kind of movie I made.” Despite the grim news, however, Dolph seems to have found a silver lining. “You just appreciate being lucky enough to be alive, and you appreciate every moment there is,” he said.