SAN FRANCISCO — Comedian and actress Kathy Griffin has revealed she has stage 1 lung cancer.
Griffin, 60, announced Monday she’d be having surgery to have half of her left lung removed, she said in a morning tweet.
“Yes, I have lung cancer even though I’ve never smoked!” Griffin said. She added that she may not need chemotherapy or radiation once the surgery is complete.
“I should be up and running around as usual in a month or less […]I’m gonna be just fine,” she said.
Her announcement ended with a warning that the consequences of her diagnosis would have been even more serious if she had not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Dr. Daniel McFarland of the Northwell Cancer Institute commended Griffin for speaking out.
“What it really does is help the public and everyone understand, not only does this happen unfortunately, but it’s important to do something about it and to not feel any sense of shame about it,” Dr. McFarland said.
According to the CDC, more than 10% of lung cancer patients don’t smoke. Symptoms can include frequent coughing — sometimes with blood — chest pain, wheezing or shortness of breath.
Griffin urged people to get regular medical checkups, saying, “It’ll save your life.”
That has been a problem during the pandemic.
“People delayed getting their age-appropriate cancer screening, and so consequently, we definitely saw that there were people getting diagnosed with later stage cancer,” Dr. McFarland said.
Thankfully, Griffin’s is an early-stage case.
It’s been a hard few years for Griffin. Most notably, there was fallout from a 2017 photo shoot where she held a replica of former President Donald Trump’s bloody, severed head.
Griffin’s sister died from cancer in 2017; she previously lost her brother in 2014 to the disease.
The comedian said she is optimistic. Fellow entertainers wished her well on social media.
Amy Schumer wrote on Instagram, “Love you Kathy!!! You got this!”
Griffin expressed hope she will not need chemotherapy or radiation and will have normal breathing. She said she wants to be up and running in a few weeks and get back to making people laugh.