Research shows that both white and black women were diagnosed with breast cancer at a relatively equal rate between 1999 and 2006. 90% of these women were expected to survive at least five years. But today, more people are surviving the illness.
Most of the breast cancer survival cases since the mid-70s are due to the use of enhanced treatment and screening. Lumpectomy and local radiation therapy have been used more often to treat early-stage incidences of the fatal disease. Mastectomy has also been of incredible help.
Celebrities, both men and women, across the world, have been breast cancer survivors. Theirs have been stories of bravely fought battles that have inspired other patients. Here, we provide 17 of these stars who did not let cancer push them to their graves.
17 Celebrities Who Survived Breast Cancer
1 – Hoda Kotb
Kotb is an Oklahoma-born American broadcast journalist who is also an author and television personality. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 43 years old in 2007. That year, she had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery to treat the disease.
Despite her struggles, she did not hesitate to document her story on the Today Show after being declared cancer-free. The touching tale of her journey to recovery gave hope to other people with cancer and demonstrated high resilience. During the Breast Cancer Research Foundation Symposium of 2017, she revealed that cancer shaped her outlook on life.
2 – Judy Blume
Blume is an American author whose famous works include Deenie, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Blubber. In 2012, she disclosed that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 74 and thriving, but it wasn’t enough to stop cancer.
She revealed that the news hit her by surprise, like most of her fans. There is no known history of the disease in her entire family. She values her physical fitness, and on top of that, she doesn’t drink or smoke. She recovered after undergoing a mastectomy.
3 – Kylie Minogue
Minogue is an Australian singer and actress who has a great passion for music and fashion. At the age of 36, in 2005, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. This forced her to postpone her Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour.
She received a lot of support from friends and family, and even the former Australian Prime Minister John Howard. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy treatment during the same year of diagnosis. Giuliana Rancic, another breast cancer survivor, described Minogue’s cancer survival story as inspirational.
4 – Richard Roundtree
Male breast cancer (MBC) is not a common occurrence. According to previously done research, it accounts for only 1% of the breast cancer incidences reported in the world. Well, Roundtree is one of those rare cases, but he fought back!
He is famous for his excellent acting skills, especially in his Shaft movies. He was diagnosed with the illness in 1993 when he was 51 years old. After a double mastectomy and chemotherapy, he was free of the threat of the disease.
5 – Kathy Bates
Kathy Bates, an award-winning actress, is also among the brave women who have survived breast cancer, and ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed with the killer disease when she was 64, in 2012. Some weeks after the diagnosis, she underwent a double mastectomy.
While Bates was battling cancer, she received incredible support from her family. She revealed that they believed that she would stand on her feet again like she always did. Her fans also had her back, and she thanked them on twitter for their showing her so much love.
6 – Sheryl Crow
Crow, an American singer, and actress realized she had ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) when she was 44 years old. She had not seen this non-invasive form of breast cancer coming, and it shocked her. There was no history of the illness in her family, and she had no pre-existing factors.
The songwriter survived the disease after a lumpectomy and weeks of radiation therapy. Lately, the procedures have replaced mastectomy as an approach to fight early-stage breast cancer. Crow credits her survival to early detection.
7 – Samantha Harris
When Harris was 40 years old, she underwent a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. For the American model and reporter, being cancer-free came with the freedom she relished. She felt like she could do anything she wanted, and she was grateful for it.
Now, the television presenter supports cancer research to help women like her survive the disease. She has never shied away from sharing her journey with breast cancer. She also provides tips on how to lead a healthier life.
8 – Christina Applegate
American actress and dancer survived breast cancer in 2008 after having a double mastectomy. Fortunately, hers was an early-stage case. Since her mother, Nancy Priddy, is also a breast cancer survivor, her diagnosis wasn’t totally unexpected.
Applegate battled cancer in her late 30s. Even though she was devastated, she believed it was her time to fight, and she would do so hard. Other breast cancer survivors helped her get by despite the loneliness that comes with the disease.
9 – Wanda Sykes
Sykes knew that she had a family history of breast cancer. Hence, when the comedian was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in 2011, she opted for a double mastectomy. It would reduce her chances of getting breast cancer, plus, she didn’t desire the side effects of drugs.
Entertainment Weekly ranked Sykes among the top 25 funniest Americans. The mother of two, who is also an actress, did not allow cancer to derail her career.
10 – Peter Criss
Criss was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 62 in 2008. The co-founder of the famous rock band Kiss went through a lumpectomy to successfully treat the illness. After his survival, he started creating awareness about Male breast cancer (MBC).
As he told CNN, no man should ignore the signs because breast cancer attacks men too. He also added that the harsh disease could stop one from seeing life and all the beautiful things it offers.
11 – Robin Roberts
When Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, she underwent lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment. It was easy to cure her case because it was an early form. Since then, the American television broadcaster has placed tremendous emphasis on regular screening and self-breast exams.
Her mother motivated her to encourage other breast cancer patients by sharing her struggles. She creates awareness about the illness, to help others make it through the dreadful experience.
12 – Jaclyn Smith
Smith, an American actress, and entrepreneur discovered that she had cancer at the age of 56 in 2002. She was frustrated. Then, she wanted nothing more than getting rid of her breast, but she fought on until full recovery.
In 2010, she was part of 1 a Minute, a breast cancer documentary that featured breast cancer patients. She supports Strength in Knowing, which is a program for women who are living or have survived breast cancer.
13 – Olivia Newton-John
1992 saw this Grammy-winning singer diagnosed with breast cancer. At the age of 43, it can be pretty scary because there’s a whole life yet to be lived.
Now, she is the Liv Breast Self-Examination Kit’s spokesperson, and she promotes early detection of breast cancer. She believes that caring about one’s breast health is crucial. If you detect that something is wrong, go for a mammogram as soon as possible.
14 – Melissa Etheridge
Like Olivia Newton-John, Etheridge realized that she had breast cancer when she was 43 years old. Despite the pain and frustration that come with the fatal disease, she saw it as a great thing.
It allowed her to gain a new perspective on life, her body, as well as spirit. She was hell-bent on winning, and she was not ashamed. During the 2005 Grammys, the singer said that she survived cancer, and she was proud to have done it fearlessly.
15 – Giuliana Rancic
2011 was a rough year for E! News co-anchor, Giuliana Rancic. She was 36 years old then, and she discovered that breast cancer was after her life. Her family, friends, and fans encouraged her to remain strong throughout her treatment journey.
She achieved full recovery after a double vasectomy. She revealed that she honors all women who have fought breast cancer. The mother of one also encourages people to get regular breast checkups.
The former Cleveland Browns football fullback was diagnosed in 2005. During the same year, he underwent a mastectomy and eight chemotherapy sessions until March 2006. Two of his elder sisters also had the disease, but one of them succumbed to it.
Green is a breast cancer activist. He educates men about the illness because he hopes to dispel the myth that it only attacks women.
17 – Julia Louis-Dreyfus
A day after receiving a Primetime Emmy Award for her acting prowess in comedy series Veep, Louis-Dreyfus was diagnosed. She wasn’t ashamed or afraid to fight. She announced it on her Twitter page on September 28, 2017.
With a robust support system of family and friends, as well as three rounds of chemotherapy, she was cancer-free. She acknowledged that not all women are lucky enough to survive. The producer and actress now advocates for affordable healthcare for all.
The world has heard tales of fearless people who fought breast cancer. These are only some of the celebrities who have survived the disease. Theirs are stories of how even the worst things in life can be defeated. As Hoda Kotb said, “life after cancer is a lot better than before.”