Jane Fonda, 85, Reveals Cancer Diagnosis, Begins Chemotherapy: ‘I Feel Very Lucky’

The 84-year-old actor shared the news with her Instagram followers on Friday.

Cover Image Credits: GettyImages | Picture by Charley Gallay

In an Instagram post Friday, the "Grace and Frankie" star Jane Fonda and two-time Oscar winner, 84, announced she has begun chemotherapy treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

"This is a very treatable cancer," she said in a lengthy post on Instagram. "80% 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 realize, 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."


Fonda, who is known as an outspoken political activist, says she “will not allow cancer” to keep her from speaking out on issues such as climate change and will continue to raise awareness about her “Fire Drill Fridays” campaign. “The midterms,” she writes, “are looming, and they are beyond consequential so you can count on me to be right there together with you as we grow our army of climate champions.”

A number of people and celebrities responded to Fonda’s post, including her son Troy Garity, who posted a heart emoji. Katie Couric wrote: “Handling this with grace, intelligence and selflessness, as always. Holding you in our hearts.” Chelsea Hander responded, “Love you, Jane. Thinking of you, always.”


In her post caption she further added She added that "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."

According to the American Cancer Society, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer that starts in cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the body’s immune system. It’s one of the most common cancers in the U.S., accounting for about 4 percent of all cancers. But as Fonda underlines in her post, it’s thankfully very treatable. She went on to explain that while she’ll be undergoing chemotherapy treatment for six months, she has no plans of paring back her efforts to help save the planet.


In 2010, Fonda discovered that she had breast cancer, but fortunately doctors were able to remove the tumor before it could spread. Back in 2018, the “Grace and Frankie” star revealed that she had a cancerous growth removed from her lower lip.

In May of this year, she opened up and reflected in an interview with Glamour about what she calls her “final act” in life.

“When I was about to turn 60, I realized that I was approaching my third act — my final act — and that it wasn’t a dress rehearsal,” she told “Grown-ish” star Yara Shahidi, who conducted the interview. “One of the things that I knew for sure is that I didn’t want to get to the end with a lot of regrets, so how I lived up until the end was what was going to determine whether or not I had regrets.”