Comedian Kathy Griffin has lung cancer and will soon have surgery to remove "half of her left lung"
Griffin, 60, announced the news on social media and said she "should be up and running around as usual in a month or less".
"I've got to tell you guys something. I have cancer," Griffin wrote in a note, which was posted on both Twitter and Instagram on Monday. "I'm about to go into surgery to have half of my left lung removed. Yes, I have lung cancer even though I've never smoked!
"The doctors are very optimistic as it is stage one and contained to my left lung," she continued. "Hopefully no chemo or radiation after this as I should have normal function with my breathing."
Known for her edgy take on pop culture in her stand-up routines, Griffin famously shaved her head in 2017 in support of her sister who was battling cancer. She also lost her brother, Gary, to cancer in 2014.
Griffin first gained famed with her stand-up comedy, and then landed the reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, which ran from 2005 to 2010 on Bravo. The show earned her two Emmy awards for reality programming.
In 2017, a controversial photo shoot which showed Griffin holding a severed head resembling then-US president Donald Trump, resulted in her being blacklisted from many projects and dropped from endorsement deals.
"I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far," she said in a video posted to Instagram after she was widely criticised. "I made a mistake and I was wrong."
But the ensuing backlash and death threats were so overwhelming, it would drive her to drug addiction and suicidal thoughts, she recently told ABC News.
“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. I just felt there was impending doom,” she said. “I was already starting to think ... it was time for me to go. And I was certainly being told by an awful lot of people that it was time for me to go.”
Following her suicide attempt, Griffin said she got in touch with a doctor and her husband helped her get treatment. They went to a hospital where she was placed on a psychiatric hold.
She is now on the road to recovery, and has been sober for a year. And ready to fight.
“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 to ABC News.
Griffin referenced her past struggles in her post on Monday.
"It’s been a helluva four years, trying to get back to work, making you guys laugh and entertaining you, but I’m gonna be just fine," she said, and urged everyone to have regular checks.
“Please stay up to date on your medical check ups. It’ll save your life.”