Kathy Griffin’s surgery to remove part of her lung ‘went well and as planned’ just hours after she revealed cancer diagnosis – as well as 2020 suicide attempt and pill habit
- Comedian, 60, was in recovery on Monday afternoon after having surgery
- Doctors removed part of Griffin’s left lung after she was diagnosed with cancer
- Griffin says she was diagnosed with lung cancer even though she never smoked
- She told ABC News that she had surgery to remove the tumor from her lung
- Griffin said she doesn’t expect to have to undergo chemo or radiation treatment
- Earlier on Monday, Griffin also revealed she attempted suicide last year
- She tried to take her life while battling an addiction to pills, ABC News reported
- Said she was still suffering from fallout of infamous image with Trump’s head
- Griffin’s family has history of cancer; her sister, Joyce, 65, died of cancer in 2017
- In 2014, her brother, Gary, 63, died after diagnosed with esophageal cancer
- In her post, Griffin alluded to ‘a helluva 4 years, trying to get back to work’
Kathy Griffin has undergone a successful operation to remove part of her left lung just hours after she revealed she was diagnosed with stage one cancer despite having never smoked cigarettes.
Griffin is recovering after the surgery ‘went well and as planned,’ according to Deadline. The actor told her followers on social media that doctors were ‘very optimistic’ about her prognosis.
‘Kathy is now in recovery and resting,’ a spokesperson for the comedian, 60, told the news site.
‘Doctors say the procedure was normal without any surprises.’
Griffin, who had two siblings who died of cancer in recent years, took to Instagram earlier on Monday to reveal her cancer diagnosis.
‘I’ve got to tell you guys something. I have cancer,’ she told her fans on Instagram.
‘I’m going to go into surgery to have half of my left lung removed. Yes, I have lung cancer even though I’ve never smoked!’ she continued.
She went on to tell her fans that the doctors are ‘very optimistic,’ that surgery will be able to get rid of all the cancer and that no chemo or radiation will be required.
Kathy Griffin has undergone a successful operation to remove part of her left lung just hours after she revealed she was diagnosed with stage one cancer despite having never smoked cigarettes, it was reported on Monday
Earlier on Monday, Griffin announced that she was diagnosed with stage one lung cancer even though she had never smoked cigarettes
Earlier on Monday, Griffin revealed she attempted suicide last year as she was struggling with addiction to prescription drugs.
Griffin, who was placed in psychiatric hold after her suicide attempt, says she developed her addiction to cope with the backlash she endured after posing with a bloody effigy of then-President Donald Trump in 2017.
She revealed the suicide attempt and cancer diagnosis on Monday during an interview with ABC News – footage of which was first obtained by DailyMail.com.
Griffin says she is now sober and eager to survive the health scare.
‘The irony is not lost on me that, a little over a year ago, all I wanted to do was die. And now, all I wanna do is live,’ she said.
She said she started taking Provigil, an amphetamine similar to Adderall, after it was prescribed to her by a doctor.
Griffin said she was then prescribed Ambien to help her sleep as well as painkillers for other injuries.
‘I started thinking about suicide more and more as I got into the pill addiction, and it became almost an obsessive thought. I started really convincing myself it was a good decision,’ Griffin said.
‘I got my living revocable trust in order. I had all my ducks in a row. I wrote the note – the whole thing.’
The suicide attempt took place in June of last year.
‘I really fell in love with (the pills),’ she said.
‘Then, it was kind of the allure of, “Oh, I can regulate my energy levels or my moods. Or…I fell on my elbow in my act or something and I can be pain-free or something.”
‘And it got out of control very rapidly.’
In 2017 she posted a video of herself to Instagram where she was holding a mask made to look like the severed, bloody head of Trump.
‘I caption this “there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his…wherever,”‘ she said.
The shoot was from photographer Tyler Shields.
Griffin later took down the image, and apologized publicly. CNN fired her from its New Year’s Eve broadcast with Anderson Cooper because of it.
Griffin initially apologized for the photograph but later revoked that statement and now stands by the photo and insists it was free speech.
At the time, Trump said Griffin ‘should be ashamed of herself’, calling the stunt ‘sick’ and claiming that his young son Barron was ‘having a hard time with this’.
Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, called it ‘vile and wrong’ and said it was ‘never funny to joke about killing a president’.
Griffin has said that doctors are ‘very optimistic’ about her prognosis. She is seen above in 2016
Griffin (seen above in Los Angeles in 2019) also revealed on Monday that she attempted suicide while struggling with an addiction to pills
Griffin was dropped from CNN’s New Year’s Eve show and co-host Cooper said the photo was ‘clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate’.
She had been the co-host of CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast for 10 years before she was fired in the aftermath of the photo.
Griffin told ABC News that she was particularly hurt by Cooper’s refusal to support her and reach out to her in the aftermath of the controversy.
‘The Anderson Cooper situation was just difficult because I just loved him. I just adored him. So that one hurt,’ she said.
‘I think that emotionally, that was the most painful, to have so many friends that, to this day, haven’t called.’
Griffin’s cancer diagnosis comes after a tumultuous period during which she was one of the more vocal Hollywood figures opposed to former President Donald Trump. Griffin, 60, is seen with an expressionless look holding the bloodied head of an effigy of Donald Trump. The image, posted in 2017, sparked outrage. She was fired by CNN from its New Year’s Eve broadcast
Griffin told ABC News that she was particularly hurt by CNN star Anderson Cooper’s refusal to support her and reach out to her in the aftermath of the controversy. Cooper and Griffith are seen above in Times Square on December 31, 2016. Griffith co-hosted the New Year’s broadcast alongside Cooper before she was fired
Griffin said that she was traumatized by the fallout from the Trump effigy photo. She said she began receiving death threats.
She also says that some people began to threaten her family, including those who were being treated for cancer at the time.
‘I mean, legit death threats with everything, from online, which is the Google pictures of the house, the address. I mean, folks showed up to my husband’s parents’ house,’ she said.
‘They tracked my sister down when she was dying of cancer in the hospital and called her…I picked up the call and heard it myself because I happened to be visiting her.’
Even though she began touring as a comedian last year after losing several gigs as a result of the controversy, Griffin now says that she was still suffering on the inside.
‘I thought, “Well, I don’t even drink… Big deal, I take a couple pills now and again, who doesn’t?”‘ she said.
‘Also, my age was a big part of it. I mean, who bottoms out and tries to take their life at 59?
‘It’s almost a joke, right, and by the way, someday, this will all be comedy.
‘Trust me… I was laughing to stay alive.
‘And what I found is I felt like if I can’t make others laugh, then there’s no purpose for me to live.
‘There’s no reason for me to live.’
That year, Griffin embarked on a ‘Laugh Your Head Off’ tour that included sold-out shows in New Zealand.
During her first show in Auckland, a spectator who called himself a ‘Trumper’ threw a glass bottle at her head.
Griffin says she later saw that same person being interviewed on television.
As the tour went on, her mental and emotional state kept deteriorating.
‘I lost a ton of weight… I wasn’t even aware of…not being able to keep food down because I was dealing with so many things,’ she said.
‘Yet, I had such a drive to get back on stage and show that I couldn’t be taken down.
‘It was a really tough time.
‘It was one of those times where I was on a mission and I was gonna get through it.
‘And it was a very, very gratifying, but very difficult tour.’
As she kept spiraling downward, she found solace in pills. But it was short-lived. That’s when she began to contemplate suicide.
‘Those were very real moments, obviously…when I’m breaking down on the plane, I was really convinced that…somebody was gonna harm me or…a mob [was] waiting in this environment, or something like that,’ Griffin said.
‘I just felt there was impending doom.’
Griffin added: ‘I was already starting to think … it was time for me to go.
Griffin went on to tell her fans that the doctors are ‘very optimistic,’ that surgery will be able to get rid of all the cancer and that no chemo or radiation will be required
‘And I was certainly being told by an awful lotta people it’s time for me to go.’
Griffin said she witnessed loved ones suffer from alcoholism during her upbringing in an Irish Catholic family.
‘It really wasn’t until later in life that folks from that generation started kind of talking about alcoholism and what it meant,’ she said.
‘I still think that if I would’ve taken a drink, I think I would have become an alcoholic very quickly.’
Griffin also said that she was sexually abused by her late brother.
After her suicide attempt, Griffin’s husband and her doctor placed her on psychiatric hold.
She then started to work with two clinicians to begin her recovery.
A turning point for Griffin came after she began attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, which is when ‘the clouds started to part.’
But in order to overcome her addiction she needed to face another major obstacle – ridding her body of its dependence on the chemicals that she ingested.
‘The detox was nasty,’ Griffin said.
‘I mean, it was months. I mean, the tremors…and the flop sweat, and I was so unsteady.
‘Like, when I would brush my teeth, my husband had to hold my hips so I wouldn’t fall over.’
Why do many non-smokers get lung cancer? Experts blame second-hand smoke and radon, a toxic element found in rocks and soil
Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, there will be an estimated 235,760 new cases of lung cancer in 2021.
Of those, 119,100 will be reported in men while 116,660 will be diagnosed in women.
The ACS expects that there will be a total of around 131,880 deaths from lung cancer. Of those, more than half – 69,410 – will be men while 62,470 will be women.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that in the US about 10 percent to 20 percent of lung cancers, or 20,000 to 40,000 lung cancers each year, happen in people who never smoked or smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime.
Researchers estimate that secondhand smoke contributes to about 7,300 cases and exposure to radon, a radioactive gas that has no taste or odor, to about 2,900 cases of these lung cancers.
Radon is emitted in varying quantities or concentrations from radioactive elements, for example Uranium, that are naturally present in rocks and soils.
Epidemiological studies on the health of miners undertaken by the United States Public Health Service during the 1950s and 1960s established a link between higher concentrations of Radon and incidences of lung cancer.
As Radon is emitted from the ground, it quickly dilutes in the atmosphere into relatively harmless concentrations.
But in confined and unventilated spaces in buildings, in basements and in underground mines, it’s concentration levels can become dangerously high.
Radon itself does not really cause tissue damage.
It is the decay products, sometimes referred to as the progeny or daughters of Radon, that do.
Radon gas may be inhaled and exhaled with little damaging effect.
But the decay products include Radon – 222 (derived from Uranium – 238) and Radon – 220 (also known as Thoron, and derived from Thorium – 232), and other progeny including Polonium-218, 214 and 210, that can.
In fact, Radon – 222, is on the World Health Organization’s list of things that definitely cause cancer.
Epidemiological studies on the health of miners undertaken by the United States Public Health Service during the 1950s and 1960s also established a link between higher concentrations of Radon and incidences of lung cancer.
Usually, lung cancer is diagnosed too late for a good chance at survival.
Last year, researchers reported the largest-ever one-year decline in the US cancer death rate, a drop they credited to advances in lung-tumor treatments.
The overall cancer death rate has been falling about 1.5 percent a year since 1991.
It fell 2.2 percent from 2016 to 2017. That’s the largest drop ever seen in national cancer statistics going back to 1930, said Rebecca Siegel, the lead author.
‘It’s absolutely driven by lung cancer,’ which accounts for about a quarter of all cancer deaths, she said.
Take lung cancer out of the mix, and the 2017 rate drop is 1.4 percent, she added.
There are usually no signs or symptoms in the early stages of lung cancer, but many people with the condition eventually develop symptoms including:
– a persistent cough
– coughing up blood
– persistent breathlessness
– unexplained tiredness and weight loss
– an ache or pain when breathing or coughing
You should see a GP if you have these symptoms.
Types of lung cancer
There are two main forms of primary lung cancer.
These are classified by the type of cells in which the cancer starts growing.
– Non-small-cell lung cancer. The most common form, accounting for more than 87 per cent of cases.
– It can be one of three types: squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma or large-cell carcinoma.
– Small-cell lung cancer – a less common form that usually spreads faster than non-small-cell lung cancer.
– The type of lung cancer you have determines which treatments are recommended.
Lung cancer mainly affects older people. It’s rare in people younger than 40.
Although people who have never smoked can develop lung cancer, smoking is the most common cause (accounting for about 72 per cent of cases).
This is because smoking involves regularly inhaling a number of different toxic substances.
Treating lung cancer
Treatment depends on the type of mutation the cancer has, how far it’s spread and how good your general health is.
If the condition is diagnosed early and the cancerous cells are confined to a small area, surgery to remove the affected area of lung may be recommended.
If surgery is unsuitable due to your general health, radiotherapy to destroy the cancerous cells may be recommended instead.
If the cancer has spread too far for surgery or radiotherapy to be effective, chemotherapy is usually used.
There are also a number of medicines known as targeted therapies.
They target a specific change in or around the cancer cells that is helping them to grow.
Targeted therapies cannot cure lung cancer but they can slow its spread.
Griffin said that it’s been more than a year of being sober and she’s grateful to have another lease on life.
‘Here’s the silver lining,’ she said of sobriety.
‘I am so thrilled and grateful. I feel like, at 60, I’m gonna get a next chapter.
‘That’s the thing everyone said wasn’t gonna happen. I believed [it] wasn’t gonna happen.’
While announcing that she has lung cancer, Griffin also announced that she is vaccinated for COVID and that if she wasn’t, her condition might have been worse.
‘Of course I am fully vaccinated for Covid.
‘The consequences for being unvaccinated would have been ever more serious.’
In her post, Griffin also alluded to a difficult period that coincided with the Trump presidency.
‘It’s been a helluva 4 years, trying to get back to work, making you guys laugh and entertaining you, but I’m gonna be just fine,’ she wrote.
Griffin received warm words of encouragement from fellow comedians and Hollywood celebrities.
‘You’re a fighter. Cancer doesn’t have a chance!’ tweeted Sarah Silverman.
Rosemary’s Baby actress Mia Farrow tweeted: ‘A major, scary ordeal but they will remove it and you will be just fine.
‘In the meantime i will keep you in my prayers dear Kathy.’
Kim Cattrall, the Sex and the City star, tweeted: ‘Thinking of you and sending much love…’
Elizabeth Perkins, the actress who starred in Big, tweeted: ‘Sending courage. Every obstacle…you always tackle like the Queen you are.
‘Wear your crown proudly. We are all here for you. Xo’.
Jane Lynch of Glee fame tweeted: ‘I’m beaming out to you all my love and vibes for good health.’
Kristen Johnson, who starred in the hit 90s sitcom Third Rock from the Sun, tweeted: ‘You are so powerful. Love you, warrior.’
She added a heart emoji and then wrote: ‘KICK ITS A**.’
Last year, Griffin suffered a health scare after she was rushed to the hospital with an abdominal infection.
She revealed on social media that she had ‘UNBEARABLY PAINFUL symptoms’ that seemed to be linked to COVID-19.
But once inside the ER, the My Life On The D-List star said she could not get tested for the virus due to CDC restrictions even though she was at a ‘major’ hospital.
Last year, Griffin also announced that her mother, Maggie Griffin, passed away at the age of 99.
She took to social media to share her sad news with her fans who grew to know Maggie through her appearance for six seasons on the Bravo TV show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.
Last year, Griffin suffered a health scare after she was rushed to the hospital with an abdominal infection. She initially feared that her symptoms were linked to COVID-19
Also last year, Griffin announced the passing of her mother Maggie, 99. Her tribute read: ‘My Mom, the one and only, Maggie Griffin, passed away today. I am gutted. My best friend. I’m shaking.’ Seen with her mother in 2010
‘I am gutted,’ Kathy wrote on Instagram alongside a photo showing her and her mom sitting side by side on an outdoor sofa overlooking an infinity pool and a scenic canyon.
In June of last year, Griffin commemorated her mother on what would have been her 100th birthday.
She shared a series of photos of her late mother, remembering her ‘beautiful, hilarious and spontaneous’ spirit.
Griffin’s cancer diagnosis comes after a tumultuous period during which she was one of the more vocal Hollywood figures opposed to Trump.
Later that year, Griffin posted images on social media showing her with a shaved head – a gesture of solidarity with her sister, Joyce, who was battling cancer at the time. Joyce Griffin eventually died of cancer in 2017
Joyce Griffin (seen far right with Kathy and their mother, Maggie, in 2013) died of cancer in 2017. She was 65
Griffin’s mother Maggie – who was seen on her daughter’s show My Life on the D-List – was pictured holding her hand over her mouth as she pats the comedian’s bare head
Shortly before Joyce’s death, Kathy posted this image on her social media
Griffin, an Oak Park, Illinois native, has a tragic family past with cancer, as she lost her brother Gary, 63, in 2014 in the wake of a what she called ‘a brutal struggle’ with esophageal cancer
In 2017, Griffin posted images on social media showing her with a shaved head – a gesture of solidarity with her sister, Joyce, who was battling cancer at the time. Joyce died that fall.
She was 65.
Griffin’s mother Maggie was pictured holding her hand over her mouth as she patted the comedian’s bare head.
Griffin, an Oak Park, Ill., native, has a tragic family past with cancer, as she lost her brother Gary, 63, in 2014 in the wake of what she called ‘a brutal struggle’ with esophageal cancer.
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