When thinking about celebrities, many of us picture people with fame, fortune, good looks and bodies to match. We admire them and at times probably wished we could lead their charmed lives. But leading the lifestyle of the rich and famous does not protect someone from a breast cancer diagnosis. The following are some celebrities you might recognize, but might not have known about their individual battles to become breast cancer survivors.
Celebrity Breast Cancer Survivors
Christina Applegate is an actress who got her start as a teenager playing Kelly Bundy on Married with Children. She was diagnosed at young age with breast cancer, 36, opting for a lumpectomy at the time. Later on, after learning she possessed the genetic mutation for breast cancer (BRCA positive), she made the decision to proceed with a double mastectomy. Flash forward more than a decade later, and Applegate is still dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness, specifically for early detection with her foundation,
Sheryl Crow is a Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter with hits like “All I Wanna Do” and “If It Makes You Happy.” She is another 10+ year breast cancer survivor because her cancer was found early, and she understands the importance of educating women to get their annual mammograms. In fact, she has been the national spokesperson for Hologic’s Genius™ 3D Mammography exam for more than five years.
Peter Criss plays drums behind the legendary front man, Gene Simmons, for the rock band KISS. Although he first noticed a lump in 2007, he did not learn that he had cancer in his left breast for another two years. As a breast cancer survivor, he is determined to raise awareness about the fact that men can develop breast cancer, too.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a comedic actress formerly on Seinfeld and appeared in her Emmy Award-winning show Veep on HBO. She announced her diagnosis in a very public fashion on Twitter in September 2017. “One in 8 women gets breast cancer,” she stated in her tweet. “Today, I’m the one.”
Olivia Newton John is the British-born but Australian-raised singer/songwriter who first hit American radio airwaves with her lesser known song “All Things Must Pass” until she hit it big with “I Honestly Love You.” And of course, she rose to stardom when appearing opposite John Travolta in the movie adaptation of the musical “Grease.” In 1992, Newton John received her breast cancer diagnosis and decided to have mastectomy. She was cancer-free for 25 years, but learned in 2017 breast cancer had returned and localized in another area of her body, the pelvis. The recurrence was discovered due to the fact that she experienced pain upon walking. This time around, Newton John opted for radiation therapy along with a strong focus on yoga and other natural therapies, such as herbal supplements, meditation and even medicinal cannabis. She is currently battling breast cancer for the third time.
Giuliana Rancic is the former host of E! News and appeared opposite her husband in the reality TV show Giuliana & Bill. In October 2011, prior to undergoing another round of infertility treatment, Rancic’s mammogram uncovered early-stage breast cancer. Two months later she had a double mastectomy along with reconstructive surgery. A couple of years ago, Rancic created Fab-U-Wish, a non-profit organization that now runs in conjunction with The Pink Agenda. The mission of Fab-U-Wish is to grant celebrity-themed wishes to women who are undergoing breast cancer treatment.
Robin Roberts started her broadcast career as one of the first female reporters in sports on ESPN, which then led to her position as a featured reporter for Good Morning America and eventually becoming the show’s co-anchor. After performing her self-breast exam in 2007, she found the lump, which a biopsy confirmed as early stage breast cancer. Roberts’ treatment plan included a lumpectomy, partial mastectomy, six and a half weeks of radiation therapy and eight rounds of chemotherapy. She survived breast cancer only to learn five years later that she developed a rare blood disease known as myelodysplastic syndrome (MSD), which was attributed to her cancer treatment. Roberts has used her position on the national morning show to help raise breast cancer awareness along with importance of donating to Be the Match, a national bone marrow registry.
Jaclyn Smith is famous for her role as Kelly Garrett in the original Charlie’s Angels TV series. Her annual mammogram in 2002 uncovered her breast cancer, which was treated with a lumpectomy and radiation. Concerning a woman’s battle against breast cancer, her words of wisdom are to find a support group: Don’t go it alone.
Suzanne Somers first came into our homes as Chrissy on Three’s Company back in the 1970s. After hearing the words, “You have breast cancer,” the marketer behind the Thighmaster proceeded with a lumpectomy and radiation treatment plan, steering clear of chemotherapy. She opted instead to follow alternative therapeutic methods in her breast cancer recovery. Shortly thereafter, she also adopted an organic diet and strict exercise regimen. Somers’ lesson learned after breast cancer is to empower women to become the healthiest versions of themselves, a strong breast cancer survivor.
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