The actor expects to undergo surgery to remove a tumor next week.
Tiny Pretty Things star Barton Cowperthwaite has been diagnosed with a stage 2 brain tumor.
The 31-year-old actor and ballet dancer revealed on Instagram that he had been diagnosed with "at least a stage 2 glioma" but noted that the "fairly decent-sized brain tumor" has not spread to anywhere else in his body.
In addition to the announcement, Cowperthwaite shared an image of him wearing a hospital gown and two brain scans that depict the tumor.
A glioma is "a growth of cells that starts in the brain or spinal cord" that can "press on brain or spinal cord tissue and cause symptoms" as it grows, according to the Mayo Clinic. There are multiple types of glioma, some of which grow slowly and are not considered cancerous, while other, malignant variations "grow quickly and can invade healthy brain tissue."
A rep for Cowperthwaite told EW that the tumor "could be benign" and noted that "a definitive diagnosis" of whether or not it was cancerous "will come following surgery." They added, "We are optimistic that Barton will lead a full life after treatment."
"The only course of treatment for something like this is brain surgery," Cowperthwaite said. "Docs so far have been confident that they'll be able to remove most of the tumor, and that after a successful operation, and some rehab, I will be operating like my (amazing, talented, brilliant, hilarious) self. That being said it seems like scans and checkups will be apart [sic] of my life for its lengthy remainder."
Cowperthwaite said he and his family are "taking several days to get second opinions" but that he expects to undergo surgery to remove the tumor by the "middle or end of next week."
He concluded, "I'll do my best to be open about the journey on here. I am planning on fully bouncing back to be better than my former glory! Please feel free to reach out and I'll do my best to stay connected with as many people as I can."
In a follow-up video posted on social media Saturday, Cowperthwaite thanked his followers for their support and explained how the tumor had been found.
"I, over the past eight weeks, have had several seizures, the most recent of which landed me in the ER," he said. "They were able to perform a CAT scan, which discovered an abnormality and, from that point, they sent me to a different facility to get further imaging done."
Cowperthwaite then underwent an MRI, which uncovered a "lemon-sized glioma" in the right frontal lobe of his brain. "Thankfully, it is not of immediate concern. They were able to discharge me and send me home," he said. "We're gathering the troops and strategizing. We're meeting with some of the best of the best on Monday, and I'll be able to decide where I want to get the surgery done next week."
Promising to "keep sending updates" throughout his health journey, Cowperthwaite concluded, "All the support is welcome and I'll keep you all up to speed."
Cowperthwaite is best known for starring as Oren Lennox in Netflix's ballet drama Tiny Pretty Things, which is based on the novel of the same name by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton. He also appeared in episodes of Fosse/Verdon and Girls5Eva, as well as the 2022 TV movie Imposters.
UPDATE: This story has been updated with clarification from Cowperthwaite's rep.
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