(CNN) — Edward James Olmos has opened up about his recent health problem, calling it “an experience that changed him.”
“This is the first time I’ve said this publicly, but I had throat cancer,” Olmos, 76, said Friday on the “Mando & Friends” podcast.
“I just got over it. December 20th was my last radiation. A week before I finished chemo and (for) months and months I was on radiation and chemo while my throat was coming down.”
The “Selena” actor explained that five doctors counseled her before the treatment and warned her, “We just have to tell you one thing: We don’t know what your voice is going to be like” after it’s finished.
“I said, ‘What?'” Olmos recalled.
He described cancer as “a very strong disease”, saying that doctors had to “shoot” his vocal cords with radiation.
Edward James Olmos: “The United States is very afraid of us”
“We’re shooting at your vocal cords, we’re shooting at your throat; where you eat, where you swallow, where you talk, where you breathe, it all goes through, He said, later adding: “Many of my friends have died from this.”
He said the experience “took a lot out of him,” and he lost 50 pounds and all of his muscle tone.
“During the months that I was in treatment, there were times when the body gave up,” Olmos said. “And I didn’t want to get food down my stomach. They wanted to put tubes in me and feed me nutrients because I couldn’t swallow. They had to put 2,500 calories into my body every day. It was ridiculous.” Was, very difficult.”
Olmos reflected on his experience on the podcast, saying that “It was an experience that changed me, the realization of how wonderful this life is.”
“I’ve gone through some experiences that brought me close to death, but that was close,” he said.
Olmos is an actor best known for his Oscar-nominated performance in “Stand and Deliver” (1988), which told the true story of Jaime Escalante, a high school teacher who served as an inspiration to his marginalized students. Did. Most recently, he was one of the leads in the series “Mayans MC” on FX.