Fran Drescher is known worldwide for her portrayal of Fran Fine, the lead character (with a very distinctive voice) on the hit television series The Nanny.
In addition to her beloved role, Drescher has also taken on cancer, and won. Fifteen years ago, she started her battle with uterine cancer. After originally being misdiagnosed, it took two years for her to get the correct diagnoses and treatment.
“I knew that there was something wrong with me,” said Drescher. “I mean you start to feel different, but all the doctors collectively were convinced that I was perimenopausal and they never even tested me for uterine cancer even though I had classic uterine cancer symptoms.”
Drescher believes that a doctor’s diagnosis is not infallible, that they are not “all-knowing” sages, and that their diagnoses need to be challenged.
Fran Drescher: Prevention is the best cureIn addition to her beloved TV roles, Fran Drescher has also taken on cancer, and won.
“You must challenge them. They are not gods,” said Drescher. “When the doctor calls you and tells you, you have cancer, at the end of the day he eats dinner with his family; you go home and eat your heart out with yours. So whose life is it? It’s yours and no matter what dedication they have to their profession, no one is going to care as much about you as you and your family.”
Drescher channeled her anger and feelings of betrayal – by her body and the medical community – into a healing process. In her New York Times bestselling book, Cancer Schmancer, Drescher describes how she battled cancer and took control of her health and her life.
“Turning pain into purpose is very healing. It helps to make sense out of the senseless. You’re going to kick and scream and bellow, ‘Why me Lord?’ But eventually you have to stop doing that because you’re going to hurt yourself worse than you have already been hurt.”
She is the founder of the Cancer Schmancer Foundation, which advocates shifting the movement from searching for a cancer cure to prevention and early detection.
Drescher shared her experiences in the acting world and her advocacy for cancer prevention and detection with Mike Walter on Full Frame.
Follow Fran Drescher on Twitter: @frandrescher