Blythe Danner, like late husband, also battling oral cancer

Two-time Emmy Award winner Blythe Danner announced Monday that she is in remission from the cancer that also claimed the life of her late husband, director Bruce Paltrow.

The 79-year-old actress, the mother of Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow and director Jake Paltrow, told People magazine that she has been diagnosed with a rare oral cancer — adenoid cystic carcinoma — since March 2018. and the Will & Grace star said she was diagnosed with the cancer, which develops in the salivary glands, after feeling “very light-headed,” “forgetting everything” and a lump on the back of her neck right next to her husband found a lump in his neck in 1999.

“Everyone is affected by cancer in some way, but it’s unusual for a couple to have the same cancer,” Danner told People. “I remember looking up at the sky and saying to Bruce, ‘Are you lonely up there?’ … It is an insidious disease. But now I’m fine and dandy. And I’m lucky to be alive.”

She added that she “didn’t tremble in her boots” because of the illness and that she was “not at all afraid of death” – a glimpse of mortality gained after her 33-year-old husband died in 2002 after fighting had died of throat cancer.

“You never get over a loss like that,” she says. “Bruce was the heart of our family. And life is so much paler without him. But grief is the price we pay for love.”

The film and television star said she has undergone surgery, alternative treatments, chemotherapy and radiation to ease the condition. Then doctors completely removed the cancerous tissue with a third operation in 2020.

“She went through it with so much grace,” Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow told the magazine. “I was amazed at how strong she could be.”

Danner, who also has four grandchildren, said she kept her diagnosis a secret from her kids for a long time because she “wanted to get ahead as a mom, and I didn’t want them to worry.”

The actress has also used her platform to campaign for the Oral Cancer Foundation, which estimates that 54,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral and oropharyngeal cancer each year.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2022-11-21/blythe-danner-oral-cancer-bruce-paltrow-gwyneth-paltrow Blythe Danner, like late husband, also battling oral cancer

Sarah Ridley

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