Celebrities seem to lead a life filled with glitz and glamour, free of the common worries and problems that we all face. However, even the most talented and beautiful stars are affected by breast cancer. Over the years, several celebrities have come forward and shared their stories of how they battled and survived this disease, proving that breast cancer does not discriminate. Using their star-power, these bold women have spread awareness, raised funds, and have empowered women everywhere to fight this disease and win.
The host of E! News and her own reality show, Giuliana & Bill, revealed in October 2011 that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was through an IVF infertility treatment that Giuliana Rancic’s doctor discovered the tumor from a mammogram. Luckily, the disease was caught in its early stages. After weighing the pros and cons of several treatment options, Giuliana opted to have a double mastectomy. She went back to work on December 27, just 2 weeks after surgery, and has been an advocate for routine mammograms for early detection ever since.
Best known for her role as Miranda Hobbs on Sex and the City, Cynthia Nixon discovered she had a cancerous tumor in her right breast after having a routine mammogram in 2006. The actress waited two years until her treatment was complete before revealing to the public that she battled breast cancer. With a history of breast cancer in her family, Cynthia knew the actions she had to take. She had a lumpectomy followed by six and a half weeks of radiation to eliminate the tumor. Cynthia is now an ambassador for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, striving to raise funds, awareness, and empower women who are also battling this disease.
The famous songstress was diagnosed with breast cancer after her yearly mammogram, in 2006 at the age of 44. Having caught the disease in its early stages, Sheryl underwent minimally invasive surgery for a lumpectomy and received radiation treatment. According to Sheryl, she had no signs or symptoms of the disease prior to her mammogram, encouraging her to raise awareness about the importance of early detection and routine exams. She is an active member of the Stand Up To Cancer organization, and has even lobbied Congress in favor of a bill that would research the environmental causes of breast cancer.
In September 2003 Edie Falco, star of The Sopranos and Nurse Jackie, was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer at the age of 40. Like Cynthia Nixon, Edie decided to keep her diagnosis under wraps and received treatment before revealing her battle with the disease. After the diagnosis, Edie told herself, “I am a strong woman. I have resources to get good treatment, so why not me? Better me than some single mom of three. I can handle this.” After receiving treatment for about 5 months, Edie revealed that the cancer had gone into remission. She has appeared in public service ads for the Stand Up To Cancer organization, hoping to educate cancer patients about lowering the risks of infection during treatment.
Diagnosed at age 36, actress Christina Applegate is proof that breast cancer can strike at an early age. Being the daughter of a breast cancer survivor and because of the denseness of her breasts, Christina went a step beyond her routine mammogram and received an MRI screening in 2008. From this screening she was diagnosed with cancer in her left breast. Christina opted to have a lumpectomy, and it was not until after this procedure that she discovered that she carried the BRCA gene – also known as the “breast cancer gene”. With this new information, Christina decided to proceed with a double mastectomy. She is now in the process of launching a new foundation for high-risk women who don’t have the financial means for MRI screenings.
The popular comedienne discovered she had breast cancer after having a breast reduction surgery in February 2011. In the lab work following the reduction, Wanda found out that she had DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), the earliest stage of breast cancer. Because she has a history of breast cancer on her mother’s side, Wanda decided to have a double mastectomy. ” I had both breasts removed … because now I have zero chance of having breast cancer,” she said. Wanda has worked with the American Cancer Society and other organizations to spread awareness for early detection.