Dolph Lundgren appeared to be ready for a gym session as he ventured out with his eldest daughter Ida on Monday – two days before revealing he has lung cancer.
The Swedish actor, known to millions for his role as merciless Soviet boxer Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, confirmed he has been battling cancer for the last eight years during Wednesday’s edition of In Depth with Graham Besinger.
But Lundgren, 65, was in good spirits while out with Ida – the elder of his two children with ex-wife Anette Qviberg – in Beverly Hills just 48-hours earlier.
The muscular screen legend wore a T-shirt and shorts over a pair of gym leggings, with his relaxed attire suggesting the were venturing out for some light exercise.
Lundgren, who is engaged to Norwegian fitness trainer Emma Krokdal, revealed he was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015 and speculated whether his past use of steroids for bodybuilding is to blame.
Discussing his diagnosis with Besinger, the actor says he went into remission but the cancer returned in 2020, resulting in doctors giving him a sobering 2-3 year life expectancy.
Stepping out: Dolph Lundgren appeared to be ready for a gym session as he ventured out with eldest daughter Ida on Monday – two days before revealing he has lung cancer
Surprise: The Swedish actor confirmed he has been battling cancer for the last eight years during Wednesday’s edition of In Depth with Graham Besinger
Side by side: t Lundgren was in good spirits while out with Ida in Beverly Hills just 48 hours earlier
Face to face: The actor was seen chatting with his daughter as they idled on the sidewalk
The star went for a second opinion and the treatment he is now being administered has resulted in the tumors shrinking.
In a clip from the interview, while still wearing a hospital gown, he says: ‘It’s the day after my surgery, they took out one tumor, then they took out another two they found and another three small ones.
‘Hopefully it’s cleaned out, if it dies, it dies,’ he added, referring to his memorable quote in the 1985 film Rocky IV, after his character Drago kills Apollo Creed during their exhibition match.
Speaking to Bensinger, he recalled how he discovered he had cancer again in 2020.
Lundgren says: ‘In 2020, I was back in Sweden and I had some kind of acid reflux, I didn’t know what it was so I did an MRI.
‘They found that there were a few more tumors around that area.’
Let’s talk: Lundgren and Krokdal appeared to be oblivious to onlookers while out in Los Angeles on Monday
THE DANGERS OF STEROID ABUSE
Anabolic steroids are powerful, manufactured drugs that mimic the effects of the testosterone.
Such medicines are prescription-only, given to stimulate muscle growth following surgery and to treat some kinds of anaemia.
Men with low testosterone levels can also get them drugs, which can come as pills, injections, gels and patches.
Yet, thousands across the world take the drugs without medical advice in pursuit of Hollywood-like muscles or as performance enhancers.
Doctors warn, however, the drugs — classed as a Class C in Britain and a schedule III in the US — are addictive and have a catalogue of serious side-effects.
Side effects can include reduced sperm count, infertility, shrunken testicles, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, breast development, severe acne and stomach pain.
Fears: Dolph Lundgren has questioned whether his past steroid use contributed to his lung cancer diagnosis (pictured working out in 1987)
Having too much testosterone in the body can lead to increased aggression, dubbed ‘roid rage’, insomnia and anxiety.
Studies have also linked steroids to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Anabolic steroids are different to corticosteroids, another type of steroid drug that’s more commonly prescribed.
When doctors prescribe steroids, they always advise coming off slowly by gradually reducing the dose. Sudden withdrawal can trigger symptoms including depression, insomnia and headaches.
Low key: Ida wore a black hooded top and matching leggings as she chatted to her father
Pictured: Lundgren playing Soviet boxer Ivan Drago alongside actor Sylvester Stallone in 1985 film Rocky IV
He continues: ‘They found one more tumor in the liver, so I was like aw s**** okay.
‘At that point it started to hit me that this was something serious. The surgeon called me and said it had grown, it was too big, it had grown to the size of a small lemon.
‘I asked them how long do I have left, I think he said 2-3 years but I could tell in his voice he thought it was less. I thought that was it for sure.’
Lundgren said that the use of steroids had an impact on his body
Fighter: The actor, who is famed for his muscular physique, says he has been battling cancer since 2015
Close: Lundgren and his fiancée Emma Krokdal attend the 16th Annual George Lopez Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic Pre-Partin April of this year
He said: ‘I tried steroids back in the 80s, 90s. I don’t know if that is something to do with the cancer, of course it struck me as it could have something to do with it.
‘I thought about it, you always think you’ve made a mistake. I think maybe there is some connection between testosterone therapy and cancer.
‘I was on steroids when I was younger, on and off for maybe ten years. Depending on the kind of movie I made.’
Fiancée Emma Krokdal told Bensinger: ‘His mouth got really sore, his hands got sore and he couldn’t eat anything.
‘That was a struggle, he was losing weight. We realized it was a lot worse than we thought, they started talking about tumors in the lung, stomach, spine, outside the kidneys.’
Hard hitting: Lundgren in character as Ivan Drago in the 1985 film Rocky IV
Concern: In the interview, Lundgren admits to having used steroids during the 80s and 90s (Dolph is pictured in 1990)
His daughter Ida told Bensinger: ‘It hit me when I had a deep conversation with my Dad about what would happen if he passed away.
‘That was a horrible conversation, it was a tough time. I have to be strong for my sister.’
Lundgren said he then went seeking a second opinion on his diagnosis and spoke to Dr Alexandra Drakaki.
Following a change in treatment, Lundgren says with within three months his tumors had been shrinking between twenty and thirty per cent.
Lundgren continues: ‘You just appreciate being lucky enough to be alive, and you appreciate every moment there is.’
Largely known for his roles in action packed films, Lundgren’s breakthrough role was as Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.
He would later reprised his role as Drago in Creed II in 2018.
After a long spell of working on direct-to-video films during the 90s, he returned to Hollywood in 2010 in The Expendables, alongside Rocky co-star Sylvester Stallone.
Since then he has reprised his role of Gunnar Jensen in the second and third movie in the series, with a forth expected later this year.
The full episode is due to debut later this month.