Richard Simmons reveals he was diagnosed with skin cancer and details treatment

After confusing fans with a cryptic social media post where he wrote that he was "dying," Richard Simmons is sharing a more detailed health update, this time revealing his skin cancer diagnosis.

The fitness guru, 75, said he was diagnosed with and successfully treated for basal cell carcinoma after noticing a "strange looking bump" under his right eye. He also encouraged his followers to take their health seriously and see their doctors regularly.

Richard Simmons diagnosed with skin cancer

Simmons wrote that he'd been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma in a March 19 Facebook post. It's the most common type of skin cancer and is easy to treat when detected early, per the Skin Cancer Foundation. It usually looks like a sore, red patch, bump, scar or growth on the skin.

Simmons said a doctor had to "burn my skin to remove the cancer cells." The Skin Cancer Foundation explains that curettage and electrodessication — a common treatment for basal cell carcinoma — can involve using heat to destroy cancer cells.

He wrote that he underwent this procedure twice initially but some cancer cells remained, so he had to return to the doctor for a third one, which successfully removed all the cells.

"Before I left, he checked my arms, my back, my chest and my legs. I had a little Frankenstein under my right eye for a while. He gave me some cream to put on it which I did religiously. Because of his fine work I don’t have a scar," Simmons wrote.

"I know some of you reading this have had cancer or have known someone in your life who has had cancer. Promise me you will see your doctor and get a complete check up."

Richard Simmons writes that he's "dying"

A lengthy March 18 Facebook post thrust Simmons back into the headlines because of the questions it raised about his health.

"I have some news to tell you. Please don’t be sad. I am ….dying," Simmons began.

“Oh I can see your faces now. The truth is we all are dying. Every day we live we are getting closer to our death. Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to enjoy your life to the fullest every single day. Get up in the morning and look at the sky… count your blessings and enjoy.”

I have some news to tell you. Please don’t be sad. I am ….dying. Oh I can see your faces now. The truth is we all are...

Posted by Richard Simmons on Monday, March 18, 2024

Simmons went on to discuss the importance of eating well and exercising, while reminding people to check out his library of videos on YouTube. He also waxed poetic about letting the people you love know how you feel about them.

“There is something else very important that you must do. Tell the ones that you love that you love them. Hug those people and children who you really care for. A big hug really goes a long way,” he wrote. “If you have time I want you to listen to a terrific song. It is by Tim McGraw it is called Live Like You Were Dying. Live today and don’t forget to pray. Love, Richard.”

How is Richard Simmons' health?

After sharing that he was "dying," Simmons tried to clear the air in an X post later the same day. He shared that he is not dying, but did not provide more specifics about his health. (His rep since clarified in a statement to that he is "happy and healthy.")

“Sorry many of you have gotten upset about my message today. Even the press has gotten in touch with me. I am not dying,” he wrote. “It was a message about saying how we should embrace every day that we have. Sorry for this confusion. Love, Richard.”

Simmons has kept a low profile in recent years. In 2016, he dispelled rumors that he was being held against his will in a phone interview with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie.

“No one is holding me in my house as a hostage,” he said. “You know, I do what I want to do, as I’ve always done, so people should sort of just believe what I have to say because, I’m Richard Simmons!”

He made similar comments in another Facebook post on Jan. 22, 2024, when he reminded everyone he’s doing OK.

“Hi Everybody! I wanted you all to know that I am fine and I am happy. I have had a lot of people ask me for interviews. But right now I don’t want to do them. It is a gray and rainy day here in Los Angeles, but my heart is filled with your kindness towards me,” Simmons wrote.

Richard Simmons in 1992 in Los Angeles. (Harry Langdon / Alamy)
Richard Simmons in 1992 in Los Angeles. (Harry Langdon / Alamy)

When was Richard Simmons last seen?

The "Sweatin' to the Oldies" star has not been seen in public since 2014, NBC News reported. In fact, a 2017 podcast titled "Missing Richard Simmons" drew attention to his surprising absence.

Simmons stayed largely out of the headlines in 2023. But in 2022, he spoke out publicly for the first time in years. He did so after TMZ released a documentary on his disappearance.

"Thank you, everyone, for your kindness and love! Love, Richard,” the message on Facebook read. At the time, Simmons' spokesperson confirmed that he penned the post.

"Richard is eternally grateful for the continuous outpouring of love and gratitude he has received from across the Globe. He is happy, healthy and living the life he has chosen to live,” the rep said in a statement at the time.

Simmons also found himself in the spotlight again after news broke in January 2024 that Pauly Shore is portraying him in a potential biopic. Simmons does not appear to be thrilled a movie based on his life is coming out, though.

“You may have heard they may be doing a movie about me with Pauly Shore. I have never given my permission for this movie. So don’t believe everything you read,” Simmons wrote Jan. 17 on Facebook.

Shore, though, said the film is not meant to mock Simmons.

“It’s never been vindictive. I’m not Borat. I’m not ‘let’s make fun of someone.’ It’s the opposite,” he told Variety in January.

“At this point, it’s an unauthorized biopic and they’re made every day. Yes, I want him to put his pixie dust on this and say, ‘Go for it, Pauly.’ It’s Richard being Richard. It’s sensitive. We don’t want to bug him. We want him to be left alone and we don’t want to bug him. We want to pay homage to him and kiss his feet and say he’s done beautiful stuff.”

Is Richard Simmons still alive?

Yes, according his spokesperson, Simmons is still alive.

Amid confusing over a Facebook post where Simmons said he was dying," his rep tells in a statement: “Thanks for the outreach. I’m happy to report Richard is healthy and happy. Purely an inspirational message. PS. He posted an update clarifying.”

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