Kathy Griffin has successful surgery after revealing lung cancer diagnosis

By Zach Harper

Kathy Griffin had a successful surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from her lung on Aug. 2, the same day she revealed to fans she had been diagnosed with the illness – despite never having been a smoker.

The 60-year-old had only been diagnosed with the illness a few weeks before, according to Entertainment Tonight.

"Surgery went well and as planned," a representative told ET. "Kathy is in recovery now and resting. Doctors say the procedure was normal without any surprises."

Earlier that day, the comedian took to Instagram and Twitter to tell fans about the upsetting news, but said she was thankful that it had been caught in the early stages.

"I've got to tell you guys something," she wrote. "I have cancer. 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. Hopefully no chemo or radiation after this and I should have normal function with my breathing. I should be up and running around as usual in a month or less."

Kathy told fans they should make sure they keep their medical checkups – and get vaccinated for COVID-19, adding that her outcome could have been worse if she had contracted the illness while batting lung cancer.

Throughout her career, Kathy has been open about other members of her family's battles with cancer. Her sister Joyce died of cancer in 2017, while her brother Gary passed away from another form of the illness three years earlier.

Kathy hasn't had an easy last year. She lost her mother Maggie to dementia in March 2020, around the start of the coronavirus pandemic. In a pre-recorded interview that aired the same day as her lung cancer surgery, she told ABC's Nightline over the last year she had been struggling with an addition to pills and her mental health deteriorated so badly that she attempted suicide. She's since gotten treatment and help and is in a recovery program.

"I am so thrilled and grateful at 60, I'm going to get a next chapter," she said in the interview. "That's the thing everyone said wasn't going to happen, I believed wasn't going to happen. And even I thought, even if I do get a next chapter, what is that? Me sitting around and never working again? And no – I think, kind of, anything is possible."

We're wishing Kathy well in her recovery and are sending her our best thoughts.

It's not easy to admit you need help, and while difficult, it is the first step to feeling better and is an act of courage. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please seek help. Call the Canada Suicide Prevention Helpline at 1-833-456-4566. You can also text HOME to 686868 anywhere in Canada to access free help 24 hours a day if you or someone you know is in crisis. You can find more resources through the Centre for Suicide Prevention's website.

If you or someone you know is struggling with issues related to addiction or substance abuse, help is available 24 hours a day through the Government of Canada's website.

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