Actress Kathy Bates recently sat down with Kelly Clarkson on The Kelly Clarkson Show to discuss the shifts her career have taken as well as her past health problems. Bates is no stranger to cancer, having been diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003 and then breast cancer in 2012, according to Today.
Bates has played a wide variety of roles, such as in dramatic series like American Horror Story to more lighthearted ones like The Office. Yet, few knew about what she was struggling with behind the camera. After already having beat ovarian cancer and thinking her health struggles were behind her, she found out that she had breast cancer and would have to undergo a double mastectomy and cancer treatment. However, her battle wouldn’t end there. After suffering through the double mastectomy, she found out she had a condition called lymphedema, which causes the limbs to swell.
“Then I got something called lymphedema, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but for cancer, they remove lymph nodes. I don’t care anywhere in your body. If your lymph system is damaged, at often times the fluid will back up in the affected limb,” Bates told Clarkson.
The constant health struggles took a toll on Bates’ mental state, but she didn’t give up the fight. Instead, she became the national spokesman for the Lymphatic Education and Research Network to raise awareness about this condition.
Bates explained that this is a condition that can often be missed or even be shrugged off by doctors, thus all the more reason that people should listen to their gut if something doesn’t feel right.
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“Nobody knows about it and especially if we’re big girls and we go to a doctor and say, ‘I don’t feel right, my legs are swelling’ they say, ‘Oh, just go have a salad,'” said Bates.
There is no cure for lymphedema, so it will be something Bates deals with for the rest of her life. However, there are ways to treat the symptoms associated with the condition.
Bates’ health struggles have not held her back from achieving career success in recent years. Most recently, she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture. This was for her role in Richard Jewell, a newly released drama that was directed by Clint Eastwood.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Annette Bening, Laura Dern, and Margot Robbie were also nominated for this honor.