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Swedish actor behind viral blog beats cancer

Swedish actor Fabian Bolin, 28, who has appeared in several UK television shows and US movies, has announced to the world that he is cancer-free, just over a month after he was diagnosed.

Swedish actor behind viral blog beats cancer
Swedish actor Fabian Bolin. Photo: Instagram with permission of Fabian Bolin

The actor and model started the blog on July 1st, just days after being diagnosed with leukaemia – a blood cancer which develops in bone marrow.

“There is a risk that I will not survive,” he posted in both English and Swedish.

But after weeks of gruelling chemo therapy doctors at the Karolinska Institute near Stockholm have revealed that Bolin is expected to return to complete health, the actor told his fans.

“We have just found out from the doctors at Karolinska the following: my entire blood system, and my spinal chord system, is now free from blood cancer. Just to be 100 percent clear to all of you, my beautiful angels: I have survived and killed my cancer,” he wrote in this latest blog entry.

However, the actor is not yet at the end of the road to full recovery. He is set to undergo chemo therapy until February 2016 to ensure the cancer stays out of his system.

“Imagine the feeling in your heart when you've run up a long hill. Have you ever tried that? Or if you've ever been at a gym, if you've done a really hard cardio session. Now, think about how hard the heart beats. If you want to know how I feel, then add about five times to that heart feeling,” wrote the 28-year-old in the blog post published late on Tuesday.

Bolin's heartfelt blog quickly went viral in July after being picked up by several Swedish and international media, including The Local.

“I feel so utterly sad and confused right now. I feel like it's unfair that I should have to go through this hell of a treatment, after fighting so hard to reach this stage in life and be on the cusp of fulfilling my acting dreams. But, I will not give up,” read one of his earliest entries.

The star is best known for his role as Philipp in Swedish film Snabba Cash in 2010 (released internationally as Easy Money) and Snabba Cash II (2012), his first major parts after quitting a previous career in banking.

He has spent the past few years living in London where he's played small roles in British reality TV show Made in Chelsea and the recently released UK web sci-fi show Kosmos.

READ ALSO: Swedish hunk pens emotional cancer blog

Reacting to the huge social media stir surrounding his blog, he told The Local last month: “the response is the best and most powerful experience ever”.

“I’m in shock but in a good way. It wouldn’t have been possible for all these people to come together without social media. It’s amazing to see how many wonderful people there are out there.” 

Thanks to his contacts in the film and television industry, Bolin said at the time he had already been approached by production companies who are keen on turning his story into a documentary and added that he had received support from many fellow actors, including other Swedes he worked with on Snabba Cash. 

“I decided to let people follow me on my journey from beginning to end and this enormous response makes me feel so empowered,” he said.

Update: In 2019, Fabian Bolin founded the app WarOnCancer together with Sebastian Hermelin to improve mental health for everyone affected by cancer.

RESEARCH

Nordic twins help reveal higher cancer risks

A comprehensive study of twins in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland has led to new revelations about increased cancer risks among siblings.

Nordic twins help reveal higher cancer risks
If one twin gets cancer, the other has a higher risk of getting sick too. Photo: Colourbox
Twins share the same genes, and when one gets cancer, the other faces a higher risk of getting sick too, according to a study published on Tuesday that included 200,000 people.
 
But just because one twin falls ill does not mean that the other is certain to get the same cancer, or any cancer at all, according the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
 
In fact, the amount of increased risk of cancer was just 14 percent higher in identical pairs in which one twin was diagnosed with cancer.
 
Identical twins develop from the same egg and share the exact same genetic material.
 
Among fraternal twins, which develop from two eggs and are as genetically similar as typical biological siblings, the risk of cancer in a twin whose co-twin was infected was five percent higher.
 
The twins in the study hailed from Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway — all countries that maintain detailed health registries — and were followed between 1943 and 2010.
 
When researchers looked at the group as a whole, they found that about one in three individuals developed cancer (32 percent).
 
Therefore, the risk of cancer in an identical twin whose twin was diagnosed was calculated to be 46 percent.
 
In fraternal twins it amounted to a 37 percent risk of developing cancer if a co-twin was diagnosed.
 
The exact same cancer was diagnosed in 38 percent of identical twins and 26 percent of fraternal pairs.
 
The cancers that were most likely to be shared among twins were skin melanoma (58 percent), prostate (57 percent), non melanoma skin (43 percent), ovary (39 percent), kidney (38 percent), breast (31 percent), uterine cancer (27 percent).
 
“Because of this study's size and long follow-up, we can now see key genetic effects for many  cancers,” said Jacob Hjelmborg, from the University of Southern Denmark and co-lead author of the study.
 
Researchers said the findings may help patients and doctors understand more about the hereditary risks of cancer, a disease that kills eight million people around the world each year.
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