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Kathy Griffin revealed that she has stage 1 lung cancer.
“I’ve never smoked,” the comedian, 60, explained. “I’m about to go into surgery to have half of my left lung removed.”
She says her doctors are “very optimistic” about her diagnosis, and she hopes to begin performing again soon.
Kathy Griffin has been diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer and will undergo surgery, the comedian revealed Monday morning in an emotional message posted to Twitter.
“I’ve got to tell you guys something. I have cancer,” Griffin , 60, shared. “I’m about to go into surgery to have half of my left lung removed. Yes, I have lung cancer even though I’ve never smoked!”
Although lung cancer is most common in people who do or have smoked, per the American Cancer Society, non-smokers can develop it. Other causes of the disease include exposure to radon gas, asbestos, air pollution, or harmful workplace substances like diesel exhaust or arsenic.
Griffin has not revealed which type of lung cancer she’s been diagnosed with, but she says “the doctors are very optimistic, as it is stage 1 and contained to my left lung.”
The comedian struggled with an addiction to painkillers following the backlash to a now-infamous photo of her holding up a crude prop of Donald Trump’s decapitated head, she told ABC on Monday. At one point, she even attempted suicide before seeking treatment. Now, she’s just over a year sober.
After quitting painkillers, Griffin told ABC she wondered if she had arthritis. But a doctor discovered that a mass she’d long known about had become cancerous. “It gets X-rayed every three years and hasn’t grown. So she said, ‘Well, this time, it grew.’”
Despite the diagnosis, the My Life on the D-List star remains optimistic. “Hopefully no chemo or radiation after this, and I should have normal function with my breathing. I should be up and running as usual in a month or less,” Griffin wrote on Twitter. “It’s been a helluva four years, trying to get back to work, making you guys laugh and entertaining you, but I’m gonna be just fine.”
Griffin also encouraged others to seek a COVID-19 vaccine, which she credits with keeping her safe. “Of course, I am fully vaccinated for COVID,” she wrote. “The consequences for being unvaccinated would have been even more serious.”
“I was definitely in shock. I’m still a little bit in shock. Not denial, but ... once a day, I’ll just turn to, like, nobody next to me and go, ‘Can you believe this s--t?’” Griffin told ABC. “It’s stage 1. It’s nowhere else in my body. So I need to focus on that.”
The Emmy-winner’s career is already on an upswing; just days ago, she posted pictures of herself on a TV set. Now, her focus is on recovering—and remaining healthy down the road. “Please stay up to date on your medical check-ups,” Griffin wrote on Twitter. “It’ll save your life.”
If you or someone you know is at risk, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to 741741 to message with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free.
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