15 Celebrities You Never Knew Fought Breast Cancer

1. Nancy Reagan – Diagnosed in 1987 at 66 years old

The former first lady had her left breast removed while she was still in the White House. “I couldn’t possibly lead the kind of life I lead, and keep the schedule that I do, having radiation or chemotherapy. For me, mastectomy was the right choice.”

2. Lesley Murphy – Diagnosed in 2017 at 29 years old

Bachelor alum Murphy had a preventative double mastectomy after learning that she carried a breast cancer causing gene. “I don’t really want to be sitting on these potentially cancerous cells. Why hang on something that is a ticking time bomb?”

3. Angelina Jolie – Diagnosed in 2013 at 37 years old

Angelina Jolie admitted in the New York Times that she had undergone an elective double mastectomy after tests revealed that she was at high risk of breast cancer. “The decision to have a mastectomy was not easy, but I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”

4. Kylie Minogue – Diagnosed in 2006 at 36 years old

Since Kylie Minogue’s doctor misdiagnosed her at the first check-up, which almost costed her life, she said, “just because someone is in a white coat and using big medical instruments doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right.” Kylie Minogue found a lump in her left breast at the second diagnosis and treated it with a partial mastectomy.

5. Dame Maggie Smith – Diagnosed in 2008 at 73 years old

Dame Maggie Smith was filming Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince while undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. Despite her ordeal, she held onto her sense of humour, “I was hairless. I had no problem getting the wig on.”

6. Rita Wilson – Diagnosed in 2015 at 58 years old

Rita Wilson said the doctor found an abnormality in her regular examination, but not assured her it wasn’t cancerous. A friend urged her to get a second opinion, and only then was breast cancer discovered. “You have nothing to lose if both opinions match up for the good, and everything to gain if something that was missed was found.”

7. Shannen Doherty – Diagnosed in 2015 at 44 years old

During her treatment for breast cancer, Shannen Doherty was suing her former business manager for failing to pay her health insurance premiums. Despite this, she’s staying upbeat, “I am continuing to eat right, exercise, and stay very positive.”

8. Christina Applegate – Diagnosed in 2008 at 36 years old

After watching her mother battle cancer twice, Applegate chose to have a double mastectomy though cancer was found in only one breast. “Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I scream, and I get really angry,” the now cancer-free actress admitted, “I think it’s all part of healing.”

9. Giuliana Rancic – Diagnosed in 2011 at 37 years old

The E! News host Rancic was receiving IVF treatment when her doctor discovered a tumor. She then treated it with a double mastectomy. “A lot of of us think we’re invincible, but we have to start putting ourselves on the to-do list.”

10. Cynthia Nixon – Diagnosed in 2006 at 40 years old

At first, Cynthia Nixon kept her diagnosis a secret because she didn’t want paparazzi at the hospital. After her successful treatment with a lumpectomy and radiation, she opened up about this experience, “The main thing I have to tell women is to get your mammograms and don’t delay.”

11. Melissa Etheridge – Diagnosed in 2004 at 43 years old

Rocker Melissa Etheridge found a lump in her left breast while examining herself in the shower and treated it with lumpectomy. As a tribute to that experience, she performed bald at the 2005 Grammy Awards. “The diagnosis really helped put me on a path of understanding life and happiness and what my purpose is.”

12. Sheryl Crow – Diagnosed in 2006 at 44 years old

The famous singer had no symptoms when her cancer was detected. Crow later underwent a lumpectomy and radiation treatment. “I am inspired by the brave women who have faced this battle before me and grateful for the support of family and friends.”

13. Kathy Bates – Diagnosed in 2012 at 64 years old

After overcoming ovarian cancer in 2003, Bates tweeted in 2012 that she’d beaten breast cancer as well after her successful treatment with mastectomy. “I’m grateful to have been born at a time when the research made it possible for me to survive. I feel so incredibly lucky to be alive.”

14. Janice Dickinson – Diagnosed in 2016 at 61 years old

Reality TV star Janice Dickinson was diagnosed with breast cancer when a doctor detected a pea-size lump in her right breast. Before her successful treatment with lumpectomy, she told herself, “I am not gonna let that define me, the fear. I’m going to get through this, I’ll be just fine.”

15. Sharon Osbourne – Diagnosed in 2012 at 60 years old

Having beaten cancer once, former America’s Got Talent host Sharon Osbourne opted to have a double mastectomy once tests revealed that she carried the cancer-causing gene. She said, “I didn’t even think of my breasts in a nostalgic way, I just wanted to be able to live my life without that fear all the time.”

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