Farrah Fawcett says battling cancer while "being under a microscope" is "all-consuming."
The former Charlie's Angels star said that unlike other cancer patients, she has not been given the right of privacy and the opportunity to choose with whom she wants to share the news of her illness.
"It's much easier to go through something and deal with it without being under a microscope," Fawcett said in an interview she gave to the Los Angeles Times in August, but that wasn't published until Monday. "People call, 'How are you?' 'How do you feel?' 'We're praying for you.' 'Do you still have your hair?' 'What do you feel like?' When every single call is that kind of call . . . it's all you talk about. It's all-consuming. Then, your quality of life is never the same."
The 62-year-old's cancer fight has been in the news since she disclosed it in October 2006. Since then, the actress has denounced the National Enquirer for publishing leaked details of her illness, and even set up a sting operation to prove to UCLA Medical Center that one of its employees was responsible for sharing the information.
Fawcett was shocked to see how quickly her diagnosis appeared in the Enquirer. "I couldn't believe how fast it came out," Fawcett said. "Maybe four days."
Partly because of Fawcett's experience, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law tougher penalties for people and entities that violate patients' privacy.
Federal prosecutors who investigated the case accused a UCLA employee of receiving $4,600 in checks from the Enquirer in her husband's name. The employee pleaded guilty to a felony charge of violating federal medical privacy laws but died of cancer before she could be sentenced.
Fawcett also wants the Enquirer to be charged criminally, she told the Times.
The Enquirer said in a statement to the paper that it "respects Ms. Fawcett and her brave battle with cancer."
The actress said she was especially troubled by a December 2006 Enquirer headline: "Farrah Begs: 'Let Me Die.'"
"God, I would never say something like that," she said.
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