Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda has announced that her cancer is in remission, describing the news as the “best birthday present ever”.
The 84-year-old Hollywood legend announced in September that she had begun treatment, after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
But writing in a blog post, the American actress, best known for her award-winning performances in Klute and Coming Home, announced she was now able to discontinue chemotherapy.
Fonda said she felt “so blessed and fortunate” and thanked those who had sent her prayers and well-wishes.
In a blog post on Thursday, titled “best birthday present ever” she wrote: “Last week I was told by my oncologist that my cancer is in remission and I can discontinue chemo.
“I am feeling so blessed, so fortunate. I thank all of you who prayed and sent good thoughts my way. I am confident that it played a role in the good news.”
She continued: “I’m especially happy because while my first four chemo treatments were rather easy for me, only a few days of being tired, the last chemo session was rough and lasted two weeks making it hard to accomplish much of anything.”
Fonda, a lifelong activist who has campaigned on a number of political issues, including the Vietnam and Iraq wars and on the environment, turns 85 on 21 December.
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She used the announcement of her diagnosis in September to raise the issue of how many Americans “don’t have access to quality health care” due to insurance troubles as well as discussing the effects fossil fuels can have on people’s health.
Sharing an image of herself on Instagram at the time, she wrote: “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. 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 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.”
Fonda, the daughter of the later American actor Henry Fonda and socialite Frances Ford Seymour, has had a glittering Hollywood career of her own, including two Academy Awards, two Baftas and seven Golden Globes.
She recently starred with Lily Tomlin in the hit Netflix series Grace and Frankie.
What is non-Hodgkin lymphoma?
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that develops in the lymphatic system – a network of vessels and glands which makes up part of your immune system.
The system contains a clear fluid called lymph which contains infection-fighting white blood cells known as lymphocytes.
In non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which is a rare form of cancer, the affected lymphocytes start to multiply in an abnormal way.
They then begin to collect in certain parts of the lymphatic system, such as the lymph nodes (glands), which then lose their infection-fighting properties.
People with non-Hodking lymphoma are more vulnerable to infection.
In the UK, more than 13,000 people are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma each year, with just over a third of cases diagnosed in people over 75.
The main treatments for non-Hodgkin lymphoma are chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a targeted treatment called monoclonal antibody therapy.