‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Alum Kate Walsh Had A Lemon-Sized Brain Tumor, Urges People Not To Self-Diagnose

Kate Walsh recently popped up in Cigna’s latest TV Doctors of America to remind viewers to get their annual health checkups, Entertainment Weekly reported. She appeared as her Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice alter ego, Addison Montgomery. Patrick Demsey, Donald Faison, and Neil Patrick Harris also appeared in the fun ad spot.

The actress recently confessed that she was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015. She added that the doctors caught the tumor early, and they were able to remove the mass with surgery. Now, Walsh is trying to bring awareness to preventive care and to seek the advice of medical professionals when you “don’t feel quite right.”

Walsh urged her listeners to see a doctor. She acknowledged that today, many people self-diagnose themselves through Google or social media. She said people dismiss feeling rundown with “I just need to change my diet or get more sleep.”

For Kate, her brain tumor was a wake-up call. She rarely saw her doctor, except for her year OB/GYN exams. Now, she realizes the importance of routine annual exams. She hopes America eventually switches their mentality from sick care to preventive care.

Kate Walsh urges people not to self-diagnose and see a doctor. [Image by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]

Kate went to her doctor for a checkup because she had been feeling exhausted and a tendency to favor the right side of her body. The doctor ordered an MRI, and they found a “sizeable” tumor in her left frontal lobe, according to ET Online. Three days later, she was in surgery to remove the mass. After Walsh’s surgery, her surgeon called to say that the tumor was benign.

The 49-year-old actress stated that when the doctor pulled her aside after her MRI to tell her that she had a brain tumor, she “left her body.” She couldn’t hear or process anything they were telling her because it was so much more severe than she imagined. She had to pull her assistant in the room to take notes for her to read after she processed the diagnosis.

“She starts to say, ‘Well, it looks like you have a very sizable brain tumor’ — and I just left my body,” Kate revealed. “My assistant had driven me there, and I had to go get her so that she could take notes because I was gone. It was never anything I would have imagined.”

Kate said that even though the doctors were able to remove the brain tumor, the whole ordeal was a scary experience. After years of playing Dr. Addison Montgomery on Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, nothing prepared her for her own health scare.

“It was the total opposite! You’d think that after playing Dr. Addison for the better part of a decade, where I spent more time on a hospital set than at my house, that I would feel somehow more comfortable, but I was such a little scaredy-cat,” Kate confessed.

“In the hospital, I felt like I might as well be six years old. My mother gave me rosary beads; my friend gave me a stuffed animal to go into surgery with… I played a real badass on TV, but when it comes to being a patient, it’s such a vulnerable experience.”

Thankfully, Kate Walsh has recovered completely, and her doctor gave her a clean bill of health. Kate hopes her experience will remind people to see their doctors for annual checkups.


[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]

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