Angelina Jolie, 37 is the most-recent celebrities who admitted she had breast cancer. She had a preventative double mastectomy by choice that started February 2, and completed the process on April 27. When her doctors revealed that she had 87% risk of breast cancer and 50% of ovarian cancer, she made a difficult medical decision to minimize the risk. She also had reconstructive surgery with implants to make sure that her children won’t know the difference, and they didn’t.
Here are some of the most famous celebrities who battled with cancers without diminishing their femininity.
1. Cynthia Nixon was diagnosed in 2006 at 40. The Sex and the City actress didn’t want to make her condition public during her treatment but she later decided to tell her own story when she realized it will inspire other women who are at risk of the disease.
2. Sheryl Crow was diagnosed at age 44 in 2006. She went into surgery in October 2006 when a suspicious calcification in both her breast was caught on a routine mammogram. She had seven weeks of radiation and skipped chemotherapy because her cancer was caught early, and she had no family history of the disease. In March 2007, Sheryl Crow petitioned Congress to fund a research into the probable link of breast cancer to environmental factors.
3. Edie Falco was 40 when she was diagnosed in 2003. When she was diagnosed she quietly went to treatment without telling a soul on the set of Sopranos’ six season HBO hit series because she did not want pity or fuss. She emerged cancer free in 2004 with shorter hair.
4. Kylie Minogue was diagnosed of breast cancer in 2005 at 36. She has a partial mastectomy, radiation, and chemotherapy. A misdiagnosis almost lost her chance to fight for the disease. It was not until the second round of tests that the lump was found on her left breast. She urged women to trust their gut more when the go to the doctor.
5. Elizabeth Edwards put off mammogram for four years and in 2004, she discovered a large lump in her right breast that turned out to be cancerous, she had surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation and appeared to be cancer free. However, in 2007, her doctors discovered that the cancer has metastasized to one of her ribs, lungs, and hip bones. Elizabeth Edwards lost her battle with cancer in 2010 at 61.
6. Robin Roberts, Good Morning America anchor, announced she’s been diagnosed with cancer in July 31, 2007. She found a lump when she was doing a self breast exam. She underwent a bone marrow transplant for myelodysplastic syndrome in 2012.
7. Jaclyn Smith was a 70s icon and may be best remembered as Kelly Garret of television series Charlie’s Angels. In 2002, she was 56 when she found a lump in one of her breasts during a routine exam. She had undergone lumpectomy and radiation and became active with Susan G. Komen group for the cure, and publicly speaks about recognizing breast cancer factors.
8. Christina Applegate tested positive for the BRCA-1 gene mutation in 2008 at age 36. Her choice to have mastectomy was to reduce the chance of metastasis. She founded a non-profit organization called Right Action for Women to provide financial help to women at risk of breast cancer.
9. Rocker Melissa Etheridge was 43 when she had lumpectomy, radiation, and chemotherapy after she found a lump in her left breast. She lost her father, grandmother and aunt to cancer.
10. Diahann Carroll played the mother of Dr Preston Burke on Grey’s Anatomy hospital drama underwent lumpectomy in 1998 at 63 and had 36 radiation treatments. She urged postmenopausal women to get tested for breast cancer.
The survival of breast cancer is 90% if it is detected early. While it is asymptomatic, an abnormal mammogram and breast lump could be signs of breast cancer. Your decision to take preventative procedure could save your life. Make sure that you are fully aware of the options available for you like extra breast screening and risk-reducing surgery.