Stanley Tucci struggled with “brutal” side effects of cancer treatment

Stanley Tucci says he almost couldn’t take the debilitating side effects of his oral cancer treatments.

The 62-year-old actor described his “brutal” experience battling cancer during NBC’s “Sunday Sitdown with Willie Geist” where he described his body’s “terrible” reactions to his life-saving care.

“I lost 35 pounds,” he said. “I couldn’t eat. I had a feeding tube for six months and everything tasted and smelled like you-know-what.”

“It took months and months and months before I could finally eat again and then really taste again,” added the renowned foodie.

Stanley Tucci arrives for the premiere of "I want to dance with someone" in New York City on December 13, 2022.
Stanley Tucci arrives in New York City for the premiere of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” on December 13, 2022.

ANDREA RENAULT via Getty Images

After losing his first wife Kate to breast cancer in 2009, Tucci was particularly “terrified” following his diagnosis in 2017.

“My late wife and I have traveled the world to find a cure for her. When I got it I was completely shocked,” he told Geist. “I was scared, absolutely scared.”

While the “Citadel” actor’s treatment was excruciating, he credited his wife Felicity for helping him through the grueling series of medications and surgeries.

“I was so scared,” Tucci admitted. “But Felicity was very persistent. I mean, they had to drag me kicking and screaming, but I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t done that.”

subjected to Tucci 35 days of irradiation and seven chemotherapy sessions during his battle with oral cancer. He completed treatment in 2018 and has been in remission ever since.

He said the New Yorker on how cooking shows calmed him down during his recovery, explaining, “I watched cooking shows because I didn’t need to smell the food. I couldn’t smell any food because I was so sick of it; I couldn’t put anything in my mouth.”

“Your taste buds are completely destroyed. It’s not that you don’t taste – you taste, but everything tastes like shit, and it goes on like this for months. But I could see it. It was fun to watch. And it kind of made me want to get better.”

During his recovery in 2019, Tucci found meaning in food and embarked on a culinary tour that became the series, Searching for Italy. He also wrote a nutrition-related memoir, “Flavour: My life through food”, where he reflects on “the intersection of food and life”. He writes: “Food not only nourishes me, it enriches me. all of me mind, body and soul.”

Watch the full interview below:

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