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Edward James Olmos reveals cancer diagnosis

Olmos was diagnosed with throat cancer.

Edward James Olmos

Edward James Olmos has had a decades-long career as an actor, director and producer.

And in a recent interview with the ‘Mando & Friends’ podcast, Olmos revealed that he’s been battling throat cancer for some time with his last round of radiation occurring on December 20 of last year.

“This would be the first time publicly I’ll be coming out and saying it, but I had throat cancer,” he said.

“I just finished getting through it. December 20 was my last radiation. The week before, I’d finished my chemo and [for] months and months I was on radiation and chemo as it attacked my throat.

“I still have right here [on my throat] a bump where my lymph nodes, they burned them out because they shot this area with radiation.”

How the cancer would affect his voice

During this time, doctors told Olmos that they weren’t sure how the treatment would ultimately affect his voice.

Olmos continued, “The doctors would say — I had five doctors — the doctors would say right before I started, ‘There’s only one thing we have to tell you, we do not know what you’re gonna sound like.’ I said, ‘What?!’

“We’re shooting your vocal cords, we’re shooting your throat; where you eat, where you swallow, where you talk, breathe, everything goes through here.

“So we’re shooting it. And it becomes the hardest place to shoot, to use radiation and chemo. A lot of my friends have passed because of this. It’s a very strong disease.”

How is Olmos doing now?

The 76-year-old went on to express that the treatments were quite intensive and that he’s still attempting to regain his strength even four months since the last round.

“I was in good condition — and I still am,” Olmos said. “I swim a mile a day at least, sometimes two miles a day. Every day, seven days a week. And then I row and I do weights.

“There were times in the months that I was undergoing the treatments that the body gives up. And I didn’t want to take my food through my stomach.

“They wanted to put tubes in and feed me nutrients because I couldn’t swallow. They had to get 2,500 calories into my body every day. That was ridiculous, that was so hard.

“It was an experience that changed me, the understanding of how wonderful this life is. I’ve been through some experiences that have gotten me close to death, but that was close.”


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