Ryan O'Neal On Postponing Cancer Battle & How Farrah Fawcett Changed His Thoughts On Death

Access Hollywood
Ryan O'Neal speaks to Billy Bush and Kit Hoover via satellite from New York City for Access Hollywood Live, May 2012 -- Access Hollywood

Ryan O'Neal recently confirmed he has stage 2 prostate cancer, and while he hasn't yet begun to fight the disease, the actor, who is still grieving the loss of Farrah Fawcett, said he hasn't given up.

"I'm not done and I'm not that beaten down," he told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover in an interview, airing on Access Hollywood Live on Wednesday. "Look, I have three cancers at the moment - on my face, in my prostate and I have a... chronic leukemia.

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"So [I] should [not]... get subscriptions to magazines for more than a year at a time," he added, dryly.

While the actor is facing his cancers with humor, Ryan did reveal that his attitude toward death changed with the loss of his beloved Farrah in 2009.

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"Do you view death differently because of Farrah?" Kit asked.

"Yes, I do, Kit. I do," he replied.

Ryan chose to postpone his cancer treatment because he said he needed to share his story via his new memoir, "Both of Us: My Life with Farrah."

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"The book cried out for both of us, it cried out to be sold and so I decided to do that first and then I'll address my cancers," he said.

One of the ways Ryan plans to attend to his prostate cancer is with a procedure known as cryopathy, where doctors employ the freezing process in an attempt to stop the disease from spreading, something Ryan opened up about when Billy asked him about the delay in treatment.

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"Doesn't stage 2 get closer to stage 3 if we don't start to aggressively attack it?" Billy asked. "It sounds to me like you don't care as much about your own life as you used to."

"I don't, frankly. I've lived a nice long life and I have a plan, starting on May 10, I'm going to freeze my prostate. If you thought I was cold before, you wait," he added in with a smile.

"What does that mean, 'you're gonna freeze your prostate'?" Billy asked.

"That's a new method that has been developed," Ryan said. "They freeze the part of the prostate that's cancerous."

"They freeze it and it stays within your body. It's not a removal it's just a frozen section? It stays frozen so it can't grow?" Billy asked.

"Hopefully it freezes and then drops off, but I don't know exactly what happens," Ryan said.

For more of Billy and Kit's interview with Ryan O'Neal, tune into Access Hollywood Live on Wednesday.

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