Jane Fonda has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and has started chemotherapy.
The actress and 1980s aerobics guru-turned-activist shared the news on her Instagram account, saying she feels “very lucky” because the cancer is “very treatable”.
Fonda, 84, said she wanted to make people aware that many Americans “don’t have access to quality health care” and that she wanted to discuss the effects of fossil fuels on human health.
She said: “So, my dear friends, I have something personal I want to share. I’ve been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and have started chemo treatments.
“This is a very treatable cancer. Eighty-percent of people survive, so I feel very lucky.
“I’m also lucky because I have health insurance and access to the best doctors and treatments.
“I realise, and it’s painful, that I am privileged in this.
“Almost every family in America has had to deal with cancer at one time or another and far too many don’t have access to the quality health care I am receiving, and this is not right.
‘People need to know that fossil fuels cause cancer’
“We also need to be talking much more not just about cures but about causes so we can eliminate them.
“For example, people need to know that fossil fuels cause cancer. So do pesticides, many of which are fossil fuel-based, like mine.”
Fonda, who is a two-time Oscar winner, said she is doing chemotherapy for six months and has been “handling the treatments quite well”.
‘Cancer is a teacher’
She added: “Cancer is a teacher and I’m paying attention to the lessons it holds for me. One thing it’s shown me already is the importance of community. Of growing and deepening one’s community so that we are not alone.
“And the cancer, along with my age – almost 85 – definitely teaches the importance of adapting to new realities.
“We’re living through the most consequential time in human history because what we do or don’t do right now will determine what kind of future there will be and I will not allow cancer to keep me from doing all I can, using every tool in my toolbox and that very much includes continuing to build this Fire Drill Fridays community and finding new ways to use our collective strength to make change.”
She said the US mid-term elections in November are “beyond inconsequential”, adding: “You can count on me to be right there together with you as we grow our army of climate champions.”