The Nanny star Fran Drescher is opening up about a very difficult time in her life. In a new interview with Fox News, the 59-year-old actress got candid about her uterine cancer misdiagnosis — and revealed that not knowing what she was battling was really difficult.
Back in 1999, Fran was wrapping up her hit sitcom, but she was really struggling with life behind the scenes. "From 1999 to 2000, I was still in search of a proper diagnosis," she told the news outlet. "My marriage was over. The show was over. It was a very discombobulating and dynamic time for me with a great deal of adjustments, lessons of letting go, and all of that stuff." At that time, Fran ended her 21-year marriage with her then-husband, Peter Marc Jacobson, after he came out as gay.
After a tumultuous year of being in the dark, Fran was told she was battling uterine cancer. "Then I finally got diagnosed with the illness doctor number one thought I was too young for," she revealed in the interview. “[The misdiagnosis] was the worst part of it. I kept being placed on hormonal replacement therapy. Most women that get uterine cancer are post-menopausal or obese. And since I was neither, they were quite certain it wasn’t that. I still don’t understand why everybody was so quick to dismiss that and put me on hormones. Don’t trust anybody with your life."
She continued, "Do your own research. The more you know, the better off you are. Knowledge really is power. The more you can say to doctors, ‘Well, what about this? Why can’t we rule out this?’ They say cancer is a silent killer. That’s not true. We’re just not noticing the little things, like sudden digestive problems, backache, [and] weight gain like a pound a month. These can all indicate a more serious problem."
Fran at a breast cancer conference.
Fran — who has been cancer-free since 2000 — is now an advocate for the disease. "I’ve always been that person who feels like if you’re blessed with celebrity and you don’t use it for the greater good, you’re really wasting it," she explained. "When I went on my book tour, I realized what has happened to me has happened to many, many Americans."
But as she's previously said, all you can do is learn from it and move on. "You will never be the same [after trauma]. But whatever that is, forge forward with that and turn your pain into purpose which is what I always do."
Click through the gallery below to see the cast of The Nanny then and now!