Danny Trejo’s Private Cancer Battle
- Actor Danny Trejo, 77, is someone most people can recognize from somewhere.
- Some may not know, however, that the actor privately battled liver cancer in 2010. He didn’t announce his fight with the disease until 2019.
- Battling cancer is an extremely personal experience, and so is choosing who to tell about your diagnosis. For some people, it’s a no-brainer to share their struggle, while for others, like Trejo, sharing the news isn’t so casual.
Some may not know, however, that the actor who’s from Echo Park, Los Angeles, Calif., privately battled liver cancer in 2010. He didn’t announce his fight with the disease until 2019, and now, he has a new book out entitled Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood. His memoir offers an in-depth look at his trials and tribulations, and as well as his great career successes.Read More
However, amid all he’s done throughout his career (and continues to accomplish), Trejo announced about three years ago that he battled liver cancer in private years prior.
He said that as a result of his cancer, he’s taking a harder look at what he puts in his body.
In 2019, he told The Sun: “I’m scared to death of taking too many pills, you know, I literally beat cancer on my liver, so I don’t want to start putting stuff in there.”
Trejo knows “cancer doesn’t discriminate.”
“You can be healthy, but it’ll still get to you,” he said. “I always had a good lifestyle but I got the bug.”
The actor’s cancer couldn’t be treated with chemotherapy, he said.
“I had a 10-centimeter tumor in my liver and they said it was too big to start chemo,” he said. “So, they gave me injections right into the tumor, three times, seven needles and boom.”
And after six months of treatment, Danny Trejo was deemed cancer-free!
Danny Trejo’s Private Cancer Battle
Battling cancer is an extremely personal experience, and so is choosing who to tell about your diagnosis. For some people, it’s a no-brainer to share their struggle and absorb as much support as possible, while for others, like Danny Trejo, sharing the news isn’t so casual.
Dr. Marianna Strongin, a licensed clinical psychologist and founder of Strong In Therapy Psychology, previously told SurvivorNet that whether someone shares this heavy news is their personal preference.
“I recommend sharing, I’m a therapist,” Strongin said with a laugh, “but to whom and how many people is up to the person (with cancer).”
Like Trejo, there are plenty of people who’ve chosen not to share their cancer battle publicly, at least while they’re in the thick of fighting the disease.
While Strongin says she encourages sharing, she also recognizes there’s a personality factor at play when it comes to whether a person shares this deeply personal news; some people are more willing to share, and some are just more private. The difference is in how the information is processed.
But remember, there’s no right way to accept your diagnosis. There’s no handbook, there’s no wrong way, either. So, regardless of what you decide, “everyone should focus on what makes them feel good,” Strongin said.
“There’s a difference between telling people ‘I’m sick’ versus ‘I was sick, and I think a lot of people want to wait for that moment,” Strongin added.
But the caveat in these situations, she said, is that you want to make sure sharing, if you choose to, provides you with support; a strong support system is fundamental when it comes to battling cancer.
“If it creates anxiety and burden and worry, that’s something to look at,” Strongin said; added anxiety and worry during a cancer battle is the last thing you need.
Do what makes you feel good; it’s your fight and only you know the right way to navigate through it.
Understanding Liver Cancer
Liver cancer begins in the liver — an organ located beneath the diaphragm and above the stomach. The most common form of the disease is hepatocellular carcinoma, but there are other types of liver cancers as well, such as hepatoblastoma, a rare type of liver cancer.
Blood tests, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs and angiograms are generally used to confirm a liver cancer diagnosis. A liver biopsy, when a small piece of tissue is removed and analyzed for cancerous cells, may also be performed.
Oftentimes, a liver transplant is considered the best plan when the patient is eligible. For cases of recurrent liver cancer and cancer that has spread throughout the body, your doctor may consider targeted therapy, immunotherapy or chemotherapy as the next step.
Contributing: Anne McCarthy