Breast Cancer affects all ages, ethnicities and even sexes. It’s on the news, in the public eye and is forever engrained in the minds of the American people. Part of the reason this campaign has gain such awareness is due in part to the courageous celebrities who speak out and say, “Yes, I’ve had cancer.”
Famous or infamous, these celebrities have changed our perspective and touched our hearts. In turn, people live by their example by living life to the fullest and supporting those who fight the same battle. Here are some brave women (and men) who have battled breast cancer, and won!
Celebrities Beat Breast Cancer, Too!
- Hoda Kotb. Well known as cohost of the “Today Show” with Kathy Lee Gifford. Back in 2007, Kotb came out to the public and announced she had cancer. A documentary was filmed about her struggle, as she underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Since her recovery, Kotb has become an advocate for breast cancer awareness.
- Christina Applegate. In August of 2008, it was announced by “People” magazine that Christina Applegate had been diagnosed with breast cancer. By mid-August, Applegate was said to be cancer-free after a double mastectomy. It turns out she inherited the BRCA1 mutated gene, which can trigger breast cancer. Since then, Applegate has gotten married, had a baby girl, and has founded and or been a spokesperson for a variety of non-profit organizations dedicated to breast cancer awareness.
- Wanda Sykes. In September 2011, Wanda Sykes went on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” and discussed her diagnosis of DCIS or ductal carcinoma. This particular cancer, debated as harmless in some cases, as Sykes’s was considered stage zero, has been known to be quite aggressive. In her case, she opted for a double mastectomy, significantly reducing her risk of cancer.
- Dame Maggie Smith. This prolific actor has accumulated several credits and awards for her work. But did you know that while filming the “Harry Potter” series in 2007, Smith was also enduring treatment for breast cancer? Since then, Smith has made a full recovery and continues to take on challenging and memorable roles.
- Suzanne Somers. Things are never dull in the company of Suzanne Somers. After her breast cancer diagnosis in 2001, Somers advocated alternative cancer treatments, many of which are criticized by the American Cancer Society. Even so, Somers opened the world up to a new perspective on an old problem via her book, “Knockout.”
- Richard Roundtree. Back in 1993, Richard Roundtree was diagnosed with breast cancer. It may seem odd that Roundtree endured a double mastectomy and chemotherapy for breast cancer, but a percent of men do get breast cancer. He is the perfect example of not only beating the odds, but also defeating cancer.
- Kylie Minogue. Minogue was diagnosed with breast cancer in her late thirties, proving that breast cancer affects younger women as well. Originally misdiagnosed, Minogue followed her instincts and took steps to make sure she was all right. It just goes to show that women, old and young, should be proactive and do regular self-exams.
- Melissa Etheridge. In 2004, Melissa Etheridge not only publicly announced her diagnosis, but also went on “Dateline” to discuss her experience in 2005. She is one of the only celebrities with cancer who has claimed her use of marijuana in treatment to curb the side effects of chemotherapy. Even though medical marijuana is technically legal in the state of California, it is still considered illegal or taboo at the very least.
- Sheryl Crow. Known for her fantastic music, this star musician was diagnosed with and recovered from breast cancer. After radiation therapy and a bit of surgery, Crow is still cancer free. Since her recovery, she has adopted two baby boys and lives on a large farm outside of Nashville, TN.
- Edie Falco. Famous for her roles on “The Sopranos” and “Nurse Jackie,” Falco learned back in 2003 that she had the big “C.” Even so, Falco kept it out of the public eye and focused on her career instead. In a world where everything can be made public in a blink of an eye, Falco decided, like many individuals, that this was a private matter. Since then, Falco has been interviewed about her ordeal, expressing her love of life and raising a child.
Find out if it is breast cancer, or just a lump.
With breast cancer deaths decreasing in the United States each year, and with awareness for the prevention and a cure, breast cancer will soon be one cancer we have conquered. Take a cue from these celebrities with breast cancer, and let us know how you beat or someone you know beat cancer, and is giving back to the cause to help others do the same!