Jane Fonda Opens Up About Her Battle With Cancer in Candid Interview

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Jane Fonda is getting real about some of her health scares.

The 81-year-old actress covers British Vogue's May issue and discusses the "on-going process" that is her cancer battle. 

"I’ve had a lot of cancer," she tells the magazine. "I was a sun-worshipper. When I have a day off, I frequently go to my skin doctor and have things cut off me by a surgeon." 

Fonda overcame breast cancer in 2010 and, in an interview last January, said that she had a cancerous growth removed from her lower lip. In British Vogue, Fonda reveals that she had a mastectomy just before the 2016 Golden Globes, where she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Youth.

"I get out of the car and I have the strange white dress with all the ruffles? That’s because I’d just had a mastectomy and I had to cover my bandages," she says of the white Yves Saint Laurent couture gown that she wore to that year's ceremony. 

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda at the 2016 Golden Globes

Steve Granitz/WireImage

In addition to cancer, Fonda also suffers from osteoporosis, which, according to Mayo Clinic, "causes bones to become weak and brittle -- so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause a fracture."

"The fact that I hurt a lot -- my body hurts -- is a surprise to me, and it’s not because of all that working out," she says. “It’s genetic. My father had it, my brother had it. Your cartilage disappears and then it’s bone on bone, and then 'Ow.'" 

"But we live in a time where you can just get a new one," she adds, referencing her hip and knee replacements, the latter of which she had to get done because, she jokes, "I was just starting a new relationship and I had to be able to kneel."

Fonda's hilarious quip was just one of the mentions about her love life, which she says is no longer her focus at this stage in her life.

"For the bulk of my life, I would say up until my seventies, I spent my life like a double image, like a double exposure," she says. "As an adolescent, in order to fit in, I made sure no one -- especially boys or men -- could see who I really was; that I could get really angry, that I could not be pretty, that I could be tough. I went through life not whole."

"When I left Ted [Turner, Fonda's second husband], I could feel myself moving back into myself. That is the main thing about the third act as I’m living it. I am no longer a double image," she said. "I had several serious relationships after [Ted], but... I realize I can never overcome it. That when I’m with a man, I give up myself."

Despite that, Fonda is thrilled with her life, especially since she never thought "I’d ever, ever live this long, or feel that I’m whole or getting whole."

"I feel very intentional about realizing that it’s up to me how this last part of my life goes," she adds.

Watch the video below for more on Fonda. 

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