Kilmer’s Artistic Journey After Cancer
- Actor and throat cancer survivor Val Kilmer recently shared an artsy video with fans that left some of them wondering: “What was that about?”
- Kilmer was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014; he had a tracheotomy and also underwent chemotherapy to treat his disease.
- Many people coping with cancer, including actors such as Kilmer, find that art has a therapeutic effect.
Throat cancer survivor and actor Val Kilmer isn’t shying away from diving into new projects after cancer; in his latest collaboration, he teamed up with artist and friend David Choe.
Choe is an artist, musician, and former journalist based in Los Angeles, and he and the Top Gun star, made a trippy, art-y video which Kilmer recently shared on his social media. He writes, “My very talented friend David Choe…can’t wait to collaborate again!!!!”
Fans of the actor were loving it and shared their enthusiasm in the comments section. Instagram user @groovyghoulmag writes, “Haha Groovy Ghoul loves you, Val!” And @mareho60 says, “Thanks for sharing that was awesome.” User @awol1947 writes, ”
“Dude hahahahaha hell yeah.”
But some fans noted the strangeness of the video, poking fun at it a little bit. One wrote, “this is mushroom trip” and another user, @jcburley, asks, “WHAT’S THE PORPOISE OF THIS VIDEO??”
Regardless of the purpose of the video, we love to see Kilmer having fun after beating cancer, and living his best, most artistic life.
Kilmer’s Throat Cancer Battle
Kilmer was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014 and went public with his illness in 2017. Kilmer had a tracheotomy, and he also underwent chemotherapy to treat his disease.
The two main causes of throat cancer are smoking and excessive drinking, but throat cancer can also be caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Dr. Ted Teknos, president and scientific director of the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, says in a previous interview, “When I first started training and practicing head and neck surgery, we saw this group of patients that were becoming increasingly more frequent, who were those patients who never smoked, were not drinkers, and were developing head and neck cancer. And in the beginning part of my career in the early ’90s and mid-90s, those were rare patients, but then, year by year, those numbers increased dramatically.”
“What we know now, through science, is going back and looking, decade by decade, the rates of HPV-related head and neck cancer have increased exponentially,” says Dr. Teknos. “If you look at the percentage of patients who developed throat cancer, really, cancer of the tonsils and the base of the tongue, in the ’80s compared to the 2010s, if you will, the rate of HPV-related head and neck cancers has gone up by 300%. So there is no myth. HPV causes throat cancer, and it’s a sexually transmitted disease. And it’s something that is an epidemic in the United States.”
HPV and Cancer Risk The Basics
Finding Refuge in Art After Cancer
As a seasoned actor, Kilmer knows the healing power of art intimately. Alongside treatment – or after beating cancer – some people may turn to various artistic outlets (i.e. singing, dancing, painting, crafting) to help them cope with their cancer journey.
Some people also use art to handle feelings of grief after suffering a cancer-related loss. Whenever and however you turn to art, its healing benefits – in terms of mental health – are well-documented and substantiated. In fact, Very Well Mind reports that a 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association says that less than an hour of creative activity can reduce stress and have a positive effect on your mental health. And that’s true regardless of artistic experience or talent, the author notes.