As a celebrity, whether you’re in music, fashion, or a prime time TV star, it’s tough to be in the spotlight. But what if you’re in the spotlight and find out you have breast cancer? Just like any woman diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s difficult and you have to grow some thick skin. With this in mind, we bring you 5 celebrities who have battled cancer, both in and out of the media’s eye.
In 2006, this melodic songstress found out she had breast cancer at the age of 44. After finding suspicious calcifications in both of her breasts during a routine mammogram, she underwent surgery and seven week of radiation. She also turned to alternative medicine such as acupuncture and herbal teas to supplement her treatment. “I am a walking advertisement for early detection,” Crow said in October 2006. Luckily, because she caught her cancer early, she was able to skip chemotherapy. Crow (who has no family history of breast cancer) continued her battle all the way to Congress when she petitioned the government in March 2007 to fund research possibly linking breast cancer and environmental factors.
When this Sopranos star was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, she kept it almost completely secret, not even telling her castmates on the set of her hit HBO series. It wasn’t until she went into treatment and emerged cancer-free in 2004 (with significantly shorter hair) that anyone knew about her diagnosis. Falco says she chose to stay quiet because she didn’t want any fuss or pity, especially from the media.
Having made a name for herself interviewing A-list actors, athletes, and other notable personalities, this Good Morning America anchor turned the camera on herself to announce she was diagnosed with breast cancer. During a self breast exam she found a lump, something that is every woman’s fear. Roberts had surgery to remove the lump and continued her treatment by completing eight chemotherapy rounds followed by radiation. She is considered cancer-free, but will undergo future testing.
At age 36 during the summer of 2008, Applegate found out she had breast cancer in one of her breasts. Before she underwent surgery she shockingly decided to have a double mastectomy to prevent any future cancer from resurfacing. Her reason behind this was because she tested positive for a genetic mutation and her own mother is a repeat breast cancer survivor. That year, Applegate spent her birthday receiving reconstructive surgery to get her breasts back.
Back in 1999, this 60-something designer kept her breast cancer diagnosis underwraps, fearful that this news might negatively affect her business. Instead, she turned to her daughter Lulu for support after finding lumps in her breast when one of her implants deflated during a massage. Presently, Johnson is doing well following a lumpectomy and radiation and has become the honorary chairperson for the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Initiative.
Even though these stories are an inspiration to everyone, so is every woman’s story when it comes to breast cancer. As a network of women connecting and sharing, October is month to share your thoughts and experiences with Brayola and other women like you!