Richard Simmons Shares Skin Cancer Diagnosis

Richard Simmons Shares Skin Cancer Diagnosis featured image
Gregg DeGuire / Getty Images

When you look at someone like Richard Simmons, one of the first words that likely comes to mind is healthy. Having made a name for himself in the ’70s and ’80s as a professional fitness coach and promoting his line of aerobic fitness and weight loss programs Sweatin’ to the Oldies, Simmons is, in many of our eyes, the epitome of good health.

Now, at 75, the fitness guru has admitted to a health scare that can impact anyone, regardless of your level of physical fitness: skin cancer. After posting a cryptic message to Facebook earlier this week that had fans concerned, Simmons opened up about his recent skin cancer diagnosis and the treatment journey that followed.

Richard Simmons’ Skin Cancer Journey

This past Monday, Simmons took to Facebook to share an eerie and concerning message with fans explaining that he was dying, but he soon backtracked and revealed that the post was sparked by his recent cancer diagnosis, sharing on the app that he noticed a “strange looking lump” under his right eye that prompted him to visit his dermatologist and ended up, in fact, being skin cancer.

“I sat in his chair and he looked at it through a magnifying mirror. He told me he would have to scrape it and put it under the microscope. Now I am getting a little bit nervous,” he wrote in the post. “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. Basel [sic] Cell Carcinoma. I told him to stop calling me dirty names. He laughed.”

Simmons then explained that he booked a visit with Dr. Ralph Massey, who specializes in skin-cancer surgery. “He explained that he has to burn my skin to remove the cancer cells. There was no numbing it just had to be done with a small instrument. As he started burning my skin a tear dropped down my cheek. You can’t cry during this and he wiped my tear. The burning really hurt my skin. It lasted about 30 minutes.” Unfortunately, the first treatment didn’t get all of the cancerous cells, and Simmons had to undergo another, more painful treatment. The fitness icon concluded his post with the words “to be continued,” so it’s not quite clear whether or not his skin cancer journey has come to a close.

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