'Three's Company' star Suzanne Somers recalls her cancer diagnosis: ‘You think of your mortality for the first time’

Suzanne Somers was 49 years old and on the cover of People magazine rocking a bathing suit when the “Three’s Company” star learned she had cancer.

“You think of your mortality for the first time,” the actress admitted to Fox News. “[Before my diagnosis], I was on top of the world. Nothing felt wrong with my body. But when your doctor utters the word ‘cancer,’ you feel your mortality and it’s heavy. I remember walking down the beach with my husband and we just held each other.”

The now-73-year-old shared she went in for a routine mammogram on the same day she was scheduled for rehearsals to do a show in Las Vegas. According to Somers, it was her doctor who suggested to try his new ultrasound machine, which was reportedly able to detect up to 20 percent of lumps that mammograms can miss. It was then that Somers learned she had a malignant tumor deep in her right breast.

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Suzanne Somers (right) starred in the hit sitcom "Three's Company."

Suzanne Somers (right) starred in the hit sitcom "Three's Company." (ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

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Somers was stunned by the revelation. For decades, she had been sharing her best-selling workout routines and eco-friendly lifestyle tips. Yet it was at that moment when she became determined to fight back.

“I just remember saying to myself, ‘I can beat this. I’m going to win this,’” said Somers. “And I felt that very strongly. There’s always an opportunity in every negative. I could easily have said, ‘Poor me, why me?’ But I wasn’t having it. I knew I was going to do everything I could to beat this.”

Somers stressed the diagnosis was her “wake-up call” to make a serious lifestyle change.

“I completely changed the way I ate,” she explained. “I removed all the chemicals in my home. I even started growing my own food. I only eat organic and clean. I don’t eat fish because it’s so loaded with antibiotics. I wasn’t going to let my body become a host for the disease.”

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Suzanne Somers and Alan Hamel arrive for the premiere of "Passengers" at Regency Village Theatre on Dec. 14, 2016, in Westwood, Calif.

Suzanne Somers and Alan Hamel arrive for the premiere of "Passengers" at Regency Village Theatre on Dec. 14, 2016, in Westwood, Calif. (Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

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While Somers refused chemotherapy at the time of her diagnosis, she did have a lumpectomy and radiation, Us Weekly shared. According to the outlet, she found a doctor at the University of Tokyo who was leading a clinical trial in regeneration using stem cells. Somers would go on to become one of the first women in the U.S. to legally undergo cell-assisted lipotransfer to help reconstruct her breast.

Today, Somers is a breast cancer survivor and insists the diagnosis changed her life — for the better. She has since launched an organic beauty line called Suzanne Organics, which offers “toxic-free, gluten-free hair, skin, body and makeup products,” People magazine shared.

“It took courage to approach cancer in a different way,” she explained. “I was so lambasted in the press. But I really wanted to change the way I eat and what I put in my body… I don’t tell anybody what to do. I never give advice. The decision I made was the best one for me. You should always speak with your doctor and start that dialogue. It's your life on the line.”

“For me, my body feels better eating clean and not absorbing toxins,” Somers continued. “And I knew when it came to creating my products, it had to be better than the chemical stuff that's out there. And I’m really proud of them. They speak for themselves. They’re made with ingredients I feel completely at ease with, ones I use on my own.”

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Suzanne Somers and husband Alan Hamel at Studio 54, circa 1978.

Suzanne Somers and husband Alan Hamel at Studio 54, circa 1978. (Photo by Tom Wargacki/WireImage/Getty)

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The biggest fan of her line happens to be Alan Hamel, her husband of 42 years.

“Oh my God, I have the greatest husband in the world,” she gushed. “I love him and he absolutely supports me in everything I want to do. I told him what I wanted to create for other women and he saw the wisdom in that. I hope everyone can find someone as special as my husband. I’m still so in love with him.”

As for the secret behind her lasting marriage? Somers insisted it’s surprisingly simple.

“He brings me great coffee in the morning,” she laughed. “And I don't mean mediocre. I mean great coffee. And we have a tequila together most nights at our bar. We share a clear tequila because there’s little to no sugar. That’s the only bad thing I do really. We’re busy doing our thing but we always find time to talk and share our feelings at the end of the day. And dedicating time for each other is so important.”

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Suzanne Somers attends the 30th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala at Palm Springs Convention Center on Jan. 3, 2019, in Palm Springs, Calif.

Suzanne Somers attends the 30th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala at Palm Springs Convention Center on Jan. 3, 2019, in Palm Springs, Calif. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

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“Sometimes for us it’s as simple as dancing,” Somers continued. “I guess coffee in the morning and tequila at night has been our secret. But I’m just as happy if it's ice water as long as it’s with my husband. It’s great to date your husband.”