Fran Drescher is Up for the Biggest Role of her Career
- Fran Drescher, 63, is running for president of the Screen Actors Guild and facing off against actor Matthew Modine.
- Drescher was diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2000 and underwent an immediate radical hysterectomy while Modine has adopted a vegan lifestyle and eschews sugar and alcohol after losing his brother and father to pancreatic cancer.
- Uterine cancer occurs when cancer cells develop in the lining of a person’s uterus. This year, approximately 66,570 people will be diagnosed with this type of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
The 63-year-old actress and cancer survivor announced her plans to run earlier this month and her campaign got a nice boost right off the bat with the endorsement of the outgoing SAG president, Gabrielle Carteris.Read More
Drescher’s cancer diagnosis came two years after she first started visiting specialists because she felt something was off with her body.
By the time doctors final caught the cancer it was almost too late, and doctors were forced to perform an immediate radical hysterectomy on the actress, an ordeal she later shared in her memoir Cancer Schmancer.
Despite that close call, she was given a clean bill of health soon after that operation and did not have to undergo any additional treatments.
That experience worked to fuel her advocacy work, and on the seventh anniversary of her diagnosis she launched the Cancer Schmancer Movement, a national non-profit which aims to make it possible for doctors to discover all female cancers in the first stage.
That effort got the attention of then-president George W. Bush who one year later appointed Drescher as Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women’s Health Issues.
In that role Drescher travelled through Eastern Europe to talk about health issues, and even began considering a run for U.S. Senate. Drescher had at the time been considering a bid to take the seat of newly-appointed secretary of state Hillary Clinton in a move that would have replaced the nascent New Yorker with a woman who is quintessential Queens.
Drescher managed to balance a steady Hollywood career through this all, and has consistently found work for the past 40 years.
She is best known for her work on The Nanny, the hit 90s sitcom that she created with her then-husband Peter Marc Jacobson, for which she earned two Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her work in the titular role.
Drescher and Jacobson found success after their split as well with the TV Land series Happily Divorced. The pair drew from their own relationship to create the show about a florist who learned her husband is gay after almost 30 years of marriage.
She has also popped up in a handful of films over the years, including Saturday Night Fever, This is Spinal Tap, Jack, and The Beautician and the Beast.
Drescher is running as part of the ruling party’s Unite for Strength ticket. Her running mate is Rent star Anthony Rapp, who would fill the role of secretary-treasurer.
Rapp, 49, is currently in litigation with disgraced Oscar winner Kevin Spacey for an incident of sexual misconduct that occurred when Rapp was 14 and the disgraced Oscar winner was 26.
They are taking on Matthew Modine, a man whose life was also impacted by cancer. The Platoon star, 62, has long been open about the steps he is taking to try and decrease his risk of cancer.
“My father and subsequently my brother died of pancreatic cancer, which is why I live this vegan lifestyle. I think sugar and alcohol (which is basically a form of sugar) have a tremendous impact on the pancreas,” he said in a 2015 interview with the Los Angeles Times.
“I believe that eliminating alcohol and processed foods is vital. Because it takes so much energy for a body to digest food, I regularly fast. … When you fast your body can use that freed up energy for healing.”
His running mate is a member of Hollywood royalty, Joely Fisher. The 53-year-old actress is the daughter of Eddie Fisher and Connie Stevens, half-sister of the late Carrie Fisher, and aunt of Billie Lourd.
The president of SAG is charged with carrying out policies established by the board, presiding at all meetings, and serves as the chief spokesperson for the union.
Understanding and Conquering Uterine Cancer
Drescher spoke with SurvivorNet in an earlier interview about how her cancer experience led her to feel scared and betrayed by her own body, as well as by the medical community.
She also shared her advice for those newly diagnosed. “If you are a cancer patient or were just diagnosed with cancer, you may, undoubtedly, be very frightened,” says Drescher. “I know that I was.”
“Some of the recommendations that I can make for you immediately is to open your world up to people, start looking at your lifestyle, become educated so that you can see what all of your options are,” says the actress. “Because the best decision you make is an informed decision and to start increasing mind, body, and spirit balance as much as you can.”
Uterine cancer occurs when cancer cells develop in the lining of a person’s uterus. This year, approximately 66,570 people will be diagnosed with this type of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Some people may be predisposed to uterine cancer, including those with Lynch Syndrome, also known as hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), a type of inherited cancer syndrome associated with a genetic predisposition to different cancer types. Other risk factors include:
- Shifts in hormone levels related to menopause, birth control pills, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and certain ovarian tumors
- Use of an intrauterine device (IUD)
- Diet and exercise
- Type 2 diabetes
- Family history (having close relatives with endometrial or colorectal cancer)
- Previous breast or ovarian cancer diagnosis
- Previous diagnosis of endometrial hyperplasia
- Radiation therapy at or near the pelvic cavity to treat previous cancer