Julia Louis-Dreyfus Opens Up About Why She Went Public with Her Cancer Battle

Julia Louis-Dreyfus didn't waste any time before addressing her cancer battle during her appearance on Thursday's Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Photo: Randy Holmes/Getty Images

Julia Louis-Dreyfus didn’t waste any time before addressing her cancer battle during her appearance on Thursday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!

“I know we have to get this cancer s— out of the way,” the 57-year-old actress joked.

In September 2017, Louis-Dreyfus went public with the news that she was battling breast cancer. Now a year and multiple treatment sessions later, she told Kimmel about life after beating the disease.

“I feel very strong. I got red lips, what can go wrong?” she said. “Everything is good, I’m back to work on Veep, which is amazing.”

Veep — the Emmy-winning HBO comedy on which Louis-Dreyfus stars — postponed filming while she underwent cancer treatment, which she completed earlier this year.

That was part of the reason Louis-Dreyfus felt she had to go public with her cancer diagnosis.

“First and foremost, we had stalled Veep production because of my situation,” she explained. “A lot of people worked for me, so I knew I really couldn’t keep it private because I had to tell everybody what was going on.”

Randy Holmes/Getty Images

But from there, Louis-Dreyfus “embraced” her diagnosis and began using social media to share her battle along the way. “I got a lot of positive feedback,” she told Kimmel. “I think people liked that I had a sense of humor about it.”

The experience has opened Louis-Dreyfus’ eyes to the important cause of affordable health care.

“I think it’s an important conversation to have about health and health care,” she said on the show. “I very much considered the notion that as someone battling this disease, the idea that I might not have health insurance, which I do thanks to my great union, is completely terrifying.”

“Health care should be for all,” she said. “I believed that before and now I really know it.”

RELATED VIDEO: Julia Louis-Dreyfus Stars in New PSA, Wants to Help Others Fighting Cancer

And to help push that message, the long outspoken Democrat has partnered with registered Federal PAC Local Majority to put together a PSAdirected by her husband Brad Hall — urging citizens to not only vote but volunteer ahead of the upcoming midterm election. (To find out where and when you can volunteer, go to multiplyyourvote.org.)

“Of course it’s about getting out the vote, but what it’s really about is getting people to volunteer,” she told Kimmel on ABC. “They will tell you areas and races that need volunteer help — canvasing, texting, writing letters, etc. We’ve been able, at this point, I think we’ve almost got 10,000 volunteers.”

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Back in September, Louis-Dreyfus sat down with PEOPLE to talk about her recovery.

“I’m grateful to be alive,” she said. “I’m grateful for my heroic husband and our lovely young boys, or young men, I should say, who are our boys. And my friends and family. I’m grateful I have the life I have.”

“It’s just a joy to do what you want to do and have success with it,” she added. “That’s happened to me in my life and it doesn’t happen to everybody. I’m well aware I’ve had a great deal of good fortune.”

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