Edward James Olmos Details Throat Cancer Battle: “It Was An Experience That Changed Me Totally”

Edward James Olmos has spoken out about his battle with throat cancer on Mando Fresco’s  podcast, “Mando & Friends.”

The 76-year-old Olmos said he finished chemotherapy and radiation in December.

“I sit here saying now to you, Mando and friends, that one thing that I’m very grateful for was that I was in condition to fight this,” Olmos said. “I was in good condition — and I still am. I swim a mile a day at least, sometimes two miles a day. Every day, seven days a week. And then I row and do weights.”

Still, Olmos said he lost 50 pounds duing treatment, including a lot of muscle mass.

“There were times in the months of treatment that the body gives up. And I didn’t want to take my food through my stomach,” Olmos said. “They had to get 2,500 calories into my body every day. That was ridiculous, that was so hard.” He also shared that doctors were unable to ensure what his voice, such a part of his signature as an actor, would sound like after treatment.

“It was an experience that changed me totally, the understanding of how wonderful this life is. I’ve been through some experiences that have gotten me close to death, but that was really close,” he said.

Olmos has a long list of credits, including “Battlestar Galactica” and an Oscar nomination for lead actor for his work in 1988’s “Stand and Deliver.”

He is a founder of the 22nd Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, which runs May 31 to June 4 at the TLC Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

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