Actor Luke Perry Faced A Cancer Scare Before His Stroke

Precancerous growths spurred Perry to speak out about colon cancer screening.

Luke Perry attends the CW Network's 2016 New York Upfront Presentation
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

Precancerous growths spurred Perry to speak out about colon cancer screening.

While Riverdale star Luke Perry remains under observation at a Los Angeles hospital after suffering from a “massive” stroke, little is known about his current condition, as his representative is declining to make a public update. But a look at Perry’s health before the stroke shows that the actor was coping with a bad back, and also faced a cancer scare. says that in 2015, the Beverly Hills, 90210 actor had his first major health crisis when precancerous growths were discovered, following a routine colonoscopy. This wake-up call motivated Perry to speak out about cancer screening, and to use his fame to get people to be more proactive about their health.

“When I heard that this was the most detectable cancer that we know of yet it’s the second most lethal, I just couldn’t figure out why that was and I wanted to get out there and tell people about it,” Perry said.

The actor explained that there are 23 million Americans who are overdue for a colonoscopy, and he urged them to get it done.

“If I had waited, it could have been a whole different scenario.”

Perry says that as a result of his own cancer scare, he changed his diet and started hitting the gym regularly.

The Riverdale actor explains that he’s drastically cut down on his red meat intake, saying that he used to be a meat and potatoes man — now, he just has beef on special occasions. Perry can also be seen regularly working out at a neighborhood gym.


Recently, a 90210 revival was announced, and although Perry is obligated to adhere to Riverdale’s shooting schedule, he said he would participate in “as many episodes as possible.”

E! News is reporting that Perry isn’t the only Beverly Hills, 90210 star to face a health scare since the show wrapped. In 2014, Shannen Doherty, Perry’s on-screen love interest, discovered that she had breast cancer, following a lapse in her health insurance coverage. She learned that she had “invasive breast cancer metastatic to at least one lymph node.” She was treated with both surgery and chemotherapy and is reportedly in remission.

Two more Beverly Hills, 90210 co-stars Jason Priestly and Gabrielle Carteris have also dealt with serious health scares as a result of debilitating accidents. Priestly broke his back and sustained a head injury following a crash while participating in a race at the Kentucky Speedway, while Carteris was left with a partially paralyzed face and unable to speak, as a result of an on-set stunt gone wrong. Both actors have fully recovered thanks to extensive physical therapy and early medical intervention.