Blythe Danner In Remission From Same Cancer That Claimed Husband

Blythe Danner has disclosed that she is in remission from the same relatively rare oral cancer that claimed the life of her husband, producer Bruce Paltrow, in 2002.

In an interview with People magazine, the Meet The Parents actor and mother of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jake Paltrow, revealed that she was diagnosed in 2018 with adenoid cystic carcinoma, an oral cancer that usually develops in the salivary glands. “I remember I looked up at heaven and said to Bruce, ‘Are you lonely up there?’” she says in the interview. “It’s a sneaky disease. But I’m fine and dandy now. And I’m lucky to be alive.”

Danner says she has undergone three surgeries for the cancer, the most recent in 2020 when the cancerous tissue was removed.

“Everyone is touched by cancer in some way,” she says, “but it’s unusual for a couple to have the same cancer.” She adds, “I kept it from my kids for a long time. I wanted to forge ahead as a mother, and I didn’t want them to worry.”

The Emmy- and Tony-winning Danner says she was working in London when she noticed the symptoms. “I started feeling very woozy and I was forgetting everything. And then I felt a lump in my neck, right next to where Bruce had found his [in 1999].”

After the death of her producer-director husband, Danner became an advocate to raise awareness of oral cancer, working with the nonprofit Oral Cancer Foundation. The Foundation administers The Bruce Paltrow Oral Cancer Fund.

According to the Foundation, cases of oral cancers have increased every year since 2007, with 54,000 individuals diagnosed with the disease in 2022.

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