Suzanne Somers had a life-changing experience in 2001, and now she’s sharing her story with fans. The 72-year-old actress, who shot to fame in the late 1970s on the ABC sitcom Three’s Company, told Yahoo Lifestyle that she took matters into her own hands when she was faced with a breast cancer diagnosis 17 years ago.
After a tumor was found during a routine mammogram, Somers was faced with her own mortality, but then tried to find the silver lining in the shocking news.
“I thought, how ironic — I was known on Three’s Company as the Queen of the Jiggle. I believe this happened to me because I was a sex symbol — whatever that is.”
Somers piloted the role as Three’s Company’s resident ditzy blonde, Chrissy Snow, in 1977. The ABC comedy was known for its campy style and sexual innuendos, and the role of Chrissy Snow instantly made Somers an international sex symbol.
Twenty-four years later, Somers decided to use her platform as a celebrity to help others, but first, she underwent a lumpectomy and radiation treatments. The actress snubbed her doctor’s suggestion of chemotherapy and tried alternative techniques instead.
“My cancer has become a veiled gift, because when confronted with standard of care — the standard treatment protocol for cancer [being] radiation, chemotherapy, and after-care drugs — I looked at the doctor and I said, ‘I can’t do this.’ And he said, ‘But you’ll die.’ And I said, ‘I honestly believe I will die if I do what you tell me. The idea of flooding my body with chemical poison just doesn’t reckon with who I am.”
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) June 5, 2015
Somers also rejected the idea of breast implants after her lumpectomy and instead wore a breast insert and began self-treatment with mistletoe extract injections. The actress also radically changed her diet and lifestyle.
“Sleep is a game-changer. I decided to eat as though my life depended on it. And that I would eliminate negative thoughts, and I would think of everything from a place of gratitude.”
Somers has the financial means for the top treatments, so she contacted a plastic surgeon in Japan for information on an experimental procedure that “regrows” the breasts using womens’ own stem cells. Somers’ surgeon tried the procedure using fat from the TV star’s stomach and her body part amazingly grew back.
Suzanne Somers says that instead of throwing a pity party for herself when she got cancer, she used the diagnosis as an opportunity to grow “spiritually and emotionally.”
“This made me closer to the god of my understanding,” Somers told Yahoo. “This made me appreciate health in a way that I never did before. I believe I’m going to be here until 120 years or longer because of the way I take care of myself.”
Suzanne Somers has long been vocal about her long breast cancer journey. In 2015, when she was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, the former sitcom star advised “all” women of a certain age to go on hormones.
On her blog for People, Somers wrote, ” I said that ‘all women my age should go on hormones’ because, after my breast cancer diagnosis 15 years ago, I decided to dramatically change my life. I refused chemo and harsh drugs and instead balanced my biochemicals with bioidentical hormones and lots of supplements based on blood tests. I also decided to eat as though my life depended on it. Now I’m 68, but I have the energy and libido of a 20-year-old.”