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‘My cancer was nothing compared to some people,’ says Richard Simmons

The “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” star announced that his doctor had succeeded in removing a lump on his face.

Richard Simmons
Richard Simmons at the AARP’s 2011 Life@50+ National Event and Expo in September 2011. Credit: Angela George via Wikimedia Commons.

In continuing with his longtime personal mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle, iconic fitness guru Richard Simmons described the details of his recent battle with skin cancer.

He wrote on his “The Weight Saint” Facebook page, “Mirror mirror on the wall what’s that blemish which is so small? There was this strange-looking bump under my right eye.”

The 75-year-old explained that his dermatologist examined him and took a sample to look at under a microscope. “He comes back about 20 minutes later and says the ‘C’ word. You have cancer. I asked him what kind of cancer, and he said, basal cell carcinoma,” Simmons wrote. “I told him to stop calling me dirty names. He laughed.”

Simmons, whose mother was Russian-Jewish, said he called Dr. Ralph A. Massey, a cosmetic and skin cancer surgeon based in Santa Monica, Calif. Simmons wrote that upon meeting him, Massey apologized since he had “just finished eating lox, bagels and onions.”

Simmons wrote that Massey “smelled like a deli. But I didn’t care, I just needed his help.”

He then detailed the skin-burning procedure to remove the cancer. He needed to return for a repeat treatment, revealing that “this time was worse than before … it was deeper. I did not cry this time, but I did grit my teeth.”

Continuing his personal narrative, Simmons wrote to his 427,000 followers, “Well, the third time was a charm.”

He said that Massey had told him, “We got all the cancer cells out” and “I don’t want to see you back here again.”

The star of the “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” video fitness series concluded his story with an appeal to his fans. “I know some of you reading this have had cancer or have known someone in your life who has had cancer,” he wrote. “Promise me you will see your doctor and get a complete check-up.”

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