October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual international health campaign, to raise awareness for the disease. As per the National Cancer Institute, about 1 in 8 women born in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. iHeartRadio wants to be part of the wave that helps spread attention and support for the cause, so we’re shining light on 15 celebrities, including Sheryl Crow and Shannen Doherty, who have survived the odds.
1. Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow was diagnosed with a non-invasive form of breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ at 44. Thankfully, it was discovered at an early stage via an annual mammogram. Courtesy of a lumpectomy and seven weeks of radiation therapy, she was declared cancer-free. “I’m like a cat with nine lives,” Crow told PEOPLE in 2019. “I’m on my 11th, though.”
2. Shannen Doherty
Despite announcing that her breast cancer was in remission in 2017, Shannon Doherty's battle took a turn in 2020 when she revealed her cancer had returned a year prior. Now in stage four of her battle, the actress is trying to "treasure all the small moments" in her life.
3. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Julia Louis-Dreyfus shared her fight against cancer just one day after receiving a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in Veep. "One in eight women get breast cancer. Today, I'm the one. The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union," she tweeted in September 2017. "The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let's fight all cancers and make universal healthcare a reality." However, Louis-Dreyfus overcame the odds and announced in October 2018 that she was cancer-free.
4. Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie is another brave soul who has been open about her battle against ovarian cancer. In February 2013, the star underwent a preventive double mastectomy after learning she had an 87% risk of developing breast cancer due to a defective BRCA1 gene. She ended up having reconstructive surgery involving implants and allografts, but just two years later, she received test results indicating possible signs of early ovarian cancer. Soon after, she underwent a preventive salpingo-oophorectomy. “On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity," she wrote in one of her multiple op-eds for The New York Times.
5. Christina Applegate
Similar to Jolie, Christina Applegate also underwent a double mastectomy after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite the fact that cancer was only found in one breast, she marched on forward, especially since her mother, Nancy Priddy, was a breast cancer survivor. "I was just shaking and then also immediately, I had to go into 'take-care-of-business-mode,' which included a change to a more healthy diet,” she told Us Weekly at the time of her initial diagnosis.
6. Edie Falco
Edie Falco is also a breast cancer survivor after undergoing chemotherapy in 2004. The Sopranos star went public with the diagnosis that same year, despite receiving the news in 2003.
7. Wanda Sykes
Wanda Sykes turned to fellow comedian queen Ellen DeGeneres in 2011 to share the news that she had been diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ. Even though it's a non-invasive "stage zero breast cancer," the star wanted to steer clear of risks and elected to have a bilateral mastectomy in order to lower her chances of getting breast cancer.
8. Olivia Newton-John
In 2019, Olivia Newton-John revealed that she is battling breast cancer once again. She was first diagnosed in 1992, and had been in remission, before it returned in 2013. Fast forward to 2017, and it reappeared and spread to her bones and spine. As of late, she's turned to cannabis oil to ease her pain and become an advocate for medical cannabis.
9. Rita Wilson
Rita Wilson was a trooper in her fight against breast cancer. After undergoing a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, she was cancer-free and returned to her stint on Larry David's Fish in the Dark Broadway show after a one-month hiatus.
10. Giuliana Rancic
Giuliana Rancic faced her own battle with breast cancer in 2011. After being treated with a double lumpectomy, followed by radiation, the TV host returned to E! News about a week later.
11. Lisa Vidal
After experiencing some lower abdominal pain, Lisa Vidal thought she had a urinary tract infection. Little did she know, she was wrong. In the end, she chose to have a double mastectomy the following month since cancer runs in her family.
12. Melissa Etheridge
Back in October 2004, Melissa Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy. A year late in October 2005, the singer appeared on Dateline NBC to discuss the fight in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
13. Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue was meant for the stage, but the pop titan learned she had breast cancer while on the road in 2005 with her "Showgirl: The Greatest Hits Tour." After treatment, she resumed her trek under a different name "Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour," and it felt all-too-appropriate.
14. Cynthia Nixon
Cynthia Nixon initially thought her breast cancer battle would hurt her public image. After her diagnosis in October 2006, the Sex and the City actress kept it on the downlow, before going public with her battle in April 2008. Since then, she's become an activist and took the cause to heart when she convinced the head of NBC to air her breast cancer special in a primetime program.
15. Kathy Bates
Kathy Bates has put her all in her fight against cancer. In September 2012, she took to Twitter to announce that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, but overcame the odds two months earlier with a double mastectomy. Unfortunately, because of the procedure, she ended up with lymphedema in both arms.
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