Eric Braeden, best known for his portrayal of Victor Newman on the hit soap opera “The Young and the Restless” is currently battling cancer, the actor revealed in an emotional video on Facebook Live.
The German actor, 82, shared with his fans that whilst recovering from knee surgery, he began to have issues with his prostate.
“I hate to be his personal, but I think this may be good for some older guys who may or may not listen to this. It’ll happen to them. Your prostate grows as you grow older,” he shared. Braeden revealed he was having trouble going to the bathroom, so much so that he had to have a catheter inserted. After seeing a urologist, the problem persisted, leaving Braeden in immense pain one day while on his way to work.
“I was close to Cedar’s [Sinai] hospital and I thought, I’ll just go to the urology department, what the hell. They may recognize me, who knows, but I’ll just try it,” he recalled of the experience.
After speaking with a new urologist, who coincidentally told Braeden he had learned English from his character Victor on “The Young and the Restless,” he discovered his condition was more serious.
Much to Braeden’s shock, he learned he also had cancer. His doctor, however, was optimistic he could extract the cancer while performing a procedure that would also help his enlarged prostate.
“I said alright,” Braeden recalled. “So needless to say I was taken aback. But I was determined to deal with it. … One doesn’t really know what kind of cancer it is until they go into it,” he added of his prognosis.
“After the surgery, he says, ‘I think I got it all.’ And I said, ‘Great. love it,’” Braeden said of the initial exchange with his doctor. Days later, the doctor read the actor’s biopsy report and told Braeden that in addition to the low-grade cancer cells in his body were also high-grade cancer cells. According to his doctor, the cancer was not believed to have “penetrated the muscle wall,” so the course of treatment would be through immunotherapy.
Once a week for six weeks, Braeden says he receives BCG treatment, which according to the American Cancer Society, “is the most common intravesical immunotherapy for treating early-stage bladder cancer. BCG is a germ that’s related to the one that causes tuberculosis (TB), but it doesn’t usually cause serious disease. When BCG is put into the bladder as a liquid through a catheter, it helps “turn on” the immune system cells there, which then attack the bladder cancer cells.”
Braeden says he has undergone two infusions and that while he has felt weaker than normal, he is doing relatively well.
“I’m okay, really. It’s not bad. Hopefully, it stays that way. But every time you go there, you cringe because they’re going to go up your you-know-what. And infuse you with that serum. But if it helps you, then to hell with it, I’ll do it. So that’s where I am right now.”
The actor, who also prides himself on being a regimented athlete and former soccer player, says he has reduced his workout load, which has been a hard adjustment.
“There’s always this ambition where you got to go hard, and just do it, and I’ve learned now to listen to my body more and not go all out, you know,” he told the camera. “So if you’ve seen me a little under the weather, yah I have been. But I will lick this, okay? This bastard ain’t gonna get me. I’m gonna get it. Alright. And I’ll be in top form again soon.”
Amidst his battle, Braeden finds joy in working.
“I still am happy to be able to go work. That I enjoy. It distracts me. I love acting. I love knowing that – that I entertain people. And, yeah,” he said, getting emotional, “I love your support. Means a lot, okay?”
“So whenever you have someone in the family who goes through this, support them. It can work out. I also know someone close to me who’s had cancer; with chemo, which is tougher, much tougher. They have survived it. So nowadays there’s so much advance in cancer treatment you can survive it,” he said with a fist bump, before blowing a kiss to the camera.
Newman has appeared in nearly 4,000 episodes of the CBS soap, last appearing in the show earlier this year.