Celebrities Who Have Battled Breast Cancer and Publicly Shared Their Experiences
Last year, Julia Louis-Dreyfus revealed that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She used her platform to advocate for universal health care, tweeting "the good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union. The bad news is that not all women are so lucky. So let's fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality." The Veep star completed three rounds of chemotherapy and has returned to acting, telling the AP that she feels "strong" and full of energy.
Giuliana Rancic had a double lumpectomy after finding out she had cancer in 2011. Then she decided to have a double mastectomy six weeks later. "As tough as breast cancer has been, it has blessed me with the opportunity to change my priorities, become an even stronger person, and help others," Rancic told
. She's empowering women to dig deeper their health, explaining that breast cancer isn't a one-size-fits-all disease. She recently launched Fountain of Truth, a skin-care line inspired by her difficulty finding products she deemed safe following her diagnosis.
The actress-turned-politician revealed in 2008 that a cancerous tumor had been discovered in her right breast during a routine mammogram in 2006. Nixon, whose mother also survived breast cancer, served as an ambassador for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, Hoda Kotb used her position on Today to bring awareness to the disease. Kotb even allowed cameras to follow her throughout her cancer treatment, which included a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. The morning talk-show host has been cancer-free for a decade, and continues sharing her story to inspire other women who are dealing with cancer.
Sheryl Crow was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer and has been cancer-free for 12 years now. Crow has partnered up with Stand Up to Cancer and urged women to get regular mammograms as a spokesperson for Hologic's Genius 3D Mammogram.
Rita Wilson underwent a double mastectomy in 2015 after finding out she had breast cancer. Recently, the actress spoke about her treatment in a video for
. "The thing that helped me when I was going through my treatment, diagnosis, and all of that was mindfulness meditation," she said, adding that music and surrounding herself with loved ones also helped.
In 2008, Christina Applegate was diagnosed with breast cancer. The actress underwent a lumpectomy, but then tested positive for the BRCA mutation and opted to have a double mastectomy. (She eventually had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed for the same reason.) The same year, she founded the Right Action for Women Foundation, which lends financial support to women who can't afford breast screenings.
Good Morning America's Amy Robach had been putting off her regular mammograms, but agreed to have one on the show. The test turned up positive results and she decided to get a double mastectomy. The whole experience was a wakeup call. "I'd been giving speeches around the country about taking health seriously and being aware that cancer doesn't discriminate," she told
. "But I wasn't taking care of what was happening inside me."
Kylie Minogue's breast cancer was originally misdiagnosed. It wasn't until the Australian pop star, then 36, decided to go in for a second round of tests that doctors found a lump in her left breast. Minogue, who has been cancer-free for 13 years, encourages women to trust their gut and never hesitate to get a second opinion.
Betsey Johnson woke up one day to find one of her saline breast implants had deflated overnight. She decided to have them both removed, then noticed a little bump during the healing process that turned out to be cancer. The fashion designer is now cancer-free and takes part in fundraising events.
Maura Tierney was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, when she was due to star in the NBC drama Parenthood. The actress, best known for her role as Abby Lockhart on ER, decided to step out of the limelight to battle her illness. Tierney finished treatment in 2010, and now gets an annual MRI and mammogram,
In 2003, Nurse Jackie star Edie Falco was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time she was starring in the hit series, The Sopranos, and decided to keep her diagnosis under wraps, even from her co-stars. After going into remission, Falco decided to pursue her dream of having a family and adopted her son Anderson in 2005 and her daughter, Macy, three years later.
Olivia Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 when she was 43. Since then the star, whose cancer was caught by a self-exam, created the Liv Breast Self-Examination Kit, and has championed the need for research and funding, and encouraging women to be vigilant about their own breast health.
After the actress and announced she had breast cancer in 2001, she refused chemotherapy and became a champion of alternative medicine, sparking some controversy.
After finding a pea-sized lump in her breast, the late Golden Girls star, Rue McClanahan, was diagnosed with cancer in June of 1997. She underwent treatment for it successfully and later went on to speak at many events benefiting Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure.