Dolph Lundgren Reveals Heartbreaking Health Diagnosis And Fans Are Devastated

Dolph Lundgren reveals he has been battling cancer for the past eight years.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

dolph lundgren

Aquaman 2 star Dolph Lundgren has been battling cancer for the past eight years. The legendary actor made the revelation on the In Depth with Graham Bensinger series. The Expendables star discussed his health troubles, saying he was initially diagnosed in 2015. “Then I did scans every six months, then you do it every year, and it was fine for five years,” he said via Variety.

“In 2020, I was back in Sweden and had some kind of acid reflux or… I didn’t know what it was. So I did an MRI, and they found a few more tumors around the area,” Dolph Lundgren continued. Six additional tumors were identified during his earlier medical assessment. Unfortunately, one of them had become too large to be surgically removed, necessitating the initiation of systemic therapy.

But in the fall of 2021, while Dolph Lundgren was in London filming sequels to the Aquaman and Expendables films, more tumors were detected. “We realized it was a lot worse than we thought,” the DC alum said. “[The doctor] started talking about all these different tumors, in the lung and the stomach and the spine, outside the kidneys.”

 As a result, Dolph Lundgren was advised to take a break and spend more time with his family. When the actor asked about his expected lifespan, doctors gave him “two or three years.” After seeking a second opinion from a physician in London, he learned that his kidney cancer had started mutating in a way that resembled lung cancer more closely.

So the doctor changed his treatment approach, tailoring it to address the cancer as if it were lung cancer. “If I had gone on the other treatment, I’d have had about three to four months left,” Dolph Lundgren said. The new treatment began shrinking his tumors by 20% and 30% in the first three months.

“So 2022 was basically watching these medications do their thing, and finally, things had shrunk by about 90%. Now we’re in the process of taking out the remaining scar tissue,” Dolph Lundgren added. The actor hopes his current treatment will keep his cancer in remission. He also expressed gratitude for everyone who helped during the emotionally taxing ordeal.

dolph lundgren rocky iv drago
Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV (1985)

Dolph Lundgren is one of the most recognizable action stars in the world. His breakout role came in 1985 when he starred in Rocky IV as the imposing Soviet boxer Ivan Drago. Since then, he has starred in over 50 feature films with multiple appearances in popular television shows. The 65-year-old has also directed and produced several projects, including The Defender and The Russian Specialist.

Over the years, Dolph Lundgren has worked with famous action stars such as Sylvester Stallone, Steven Seagal, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jean-Claude Van Damme. He is also a skilled martial artist and has been awarded his Third Degree Black Belt by the World Karate Organization in Tokyo.

Dolph Lundgren will reprise his role as King Nereus in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which opens in theaters on December 20. He will also portray Gunner Jensen for a fourth time when The Expendables 4 hits theaters on September 22. His other upcoming projects include the documentary film I Must Break along with Hellfire and Showdown at the Odessa.