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'Grey's Anatomy' Star Opens Up About Brain Tumor Diagnosis

by John Rosca / Sep 19, 2017 10:16 AM EDT
Kate Walsh on 1'3 Reasons Why'

Actress Kate Walsh has spoken up about a brain tumor diagnosis that temporarily sidetracked her career and changed her approach to work and life. The star is best known for her break-out role as Dr. Addison Montgomery on ABC medical drama "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice."

Walsh opened up about her healthcare scare because she is taking part in Cigna's "TV Doctors" campaign that aims to motivate people to get their annual medical check-ups. Advertising Age notes that the Cigna campaign kicked off last year with spots starring Patrick Dempsey, who reprised his role as Dr. Derek Shepherd on "Grey's Anatomy" for the commercials.

This year, "TV Doctors" has brought in new actors based on social media recommendations. The 2017 additions include Walsh, Neil Patrick Harris, and Donald Faison, who join the returning Dempsey in phase two of the campaign. Harris was "Doogie Howser, M.D." in the '90s and Faison played Dr. Christopher Turk on the medical comedy "Scrubs."

Walsh revealed the story about her tumor in an interview with Cosmopolitan. She said that in January 2015, she was doing a pilates routine when her instructor observed that her right side was dipping. She began to feel fatigued all the time. By April that year, she was constantly struggling to think of the right words to say and losing her train of thought. The symptoms got so bad that she decided to see a neurologist.

An MRI scan showed that Walsh had a fairly large tumor in the left frontal lobe of her brain. Within three days, she was on an operating table, having the tumor surgically removed. Fortunately, the doctors determined that Walsh's brain tumor was benign.

She told Cosmopolitan that having played a doctor on TV offered no preparation for her medical ordeal. "You'd think that after playing Dr. Addison for the better part of a decade, where I spent more time on a hospital set than at my house, that I would feel somehow more comfortable, but I was such a little scaredy-cat," said Walsh.

Walsh spent nine months away from acting, but has since made a comeback with roles in the films "Girls Trip" and "Mark Felt" and the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why." The actress says that she has made a change in lifestyle, placing a greater priority on her health over her work.

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