Fran Drescher, Star of “The Nanny,” Fights Cancer With Humor

Fran Drescher

When Fran Drescher was diagnosed with uterine cancer, it took two years to get a proper diagnosis. “I was technically too young and too thin to get uterine cancer,” Drescher said. “Three out of 4 women with uterine cancer are post-menopausal or obese, and since I was neither, nobody thought to rule it out, even though 25 percent of the women that get it are young and thin.” 

If she knew then what she knows now, she would have insisted on an endometrial biopsy to rule out uterine cancer. “Turns out it’s a two-minute, in-office test,” she said. “It should have been done.”

Early detection

Since her diagnosis, Drescher, the star of the upcoming NBC series “Indebted,” wrote the New York Times bestseller “Cancer Schmancer” and began a nonprofit of the same name. “I got famous, I got cancer, and I lived to talk about it,” she said. “I started the Cancer Schmancer movement to empower people to transform from patients into medical consumers, to recognize the early warning whispers of the cancers that may affect them, and to know the tests that are available, because all too often they’re not even on the menu at the doctor’s office.”

When Drescher began her organization, she was focused primarily on early detection. “When I went on my book tour, I realized that what had happened to me had happened to many people by means of mistreatment and misdiagnosis,” she said. “Early detection became the cornerstone because that was something that needed to change – for patients to be diagnosed in stage one when it’s most curable.”

Preventing cancer

As the movement grew, its aims began to expand, encompassing research and lobbying for the prevention of cancers. “I began to learn a lot more, and I realized that 95 percent of all disease is environmentally stimulated,” she said. Cancer Schmancer now runs a program called Detox Your Home, which encourages people to host parties and get rid of toxic cleaning products and processed foods. “Let’s not get cancer in the first place, how’s that for an idea,” Drescher said.

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