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1 year ago
11 Celebrities Who Have Battled Breast Cancer

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If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with breast cancer, you know that it is not a disease that discriminates. It can touch us, our best friends, or are favorite celebrities. The following stars are just a few of the celebrities who have battled breast cancer at one point or another. By opening up about their personal stories, they have brought awareness to the issue, and many of them have gone even farther than that—marching in breast cancer walks, performing at benefits, and raising money for research. Learn more about their powerful stories.

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Christina Applegate

Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 38, and unfortunately Christina also got her bad news at age 36. "I was scared shitless," she told Women's Health back in 2009. She elected to have a double mastectomy in 2008. Since then, she founded Right Action for Women, which funds MRIs for high-risk women who are uninsured or whose insurance won’t cover the test.

Read more: Christina Applegate Talks Breast Cancer

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Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. The experience led her to adopt her first son, Wyatt, in 2007. "It took having cancer for me to realize that happiness is something I have to cultivate in myself,” she told AARP the Magazine this year.

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Melissa Etheridge

Diagnosed in 2004 at age 43, Melissa performed at the 2005 Grammy Awards with her bald head proudly on display. She has a mutation of the BRCA2 gene, which carries a significantly higher risk of breast cancer. 

Read more: BRCA2 and Breast Cancer Risk

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Giuliana Rancic

After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Giuliana had a double mastectomy in 2011. "As time passes, I feel like I've come to terms with it more," she told Women's Health last year. "And the fact that I'm using this opportunity and what happened to me to do good and to give back really makes it a lot easier to heal." She has a new foundation, Fab-U-Wish, which backs people and programs that are improving the lives of those living with breast cancer.

MORE: The New Breast Cancer Gene You Need to Know About

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Wanda Sykes

Following a breast-reduction surgery in 2011, comedienne Wanda Sykes learned she had breast cancer. Doctors found ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), often considered "stage zero" cancer, and she chose to have a double mastectomy. Revealing her illness on The Ellen Degeneres Show that year, she relied on her trademark wit to discuss the situation: "How many things could I have? Black, lesbian—I can't be the poster child for everything."

Read more: What a DCIS Diagnosis Means

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Edie Falco

Diagnosed in 2003, Edie Falco kept her breast cancer a secret at the time from most of the cast and crew of The Sopranos, with one producer quietly planning the schedule around her treatments, she told Health. When the cancer went into remission, she decided, like Sheryl Crow, that it was time to start a family. "Obviously it wasn't mean for me to die of cancer at 40," she wrote in Health. "Every day my life surprises me, just like my cancer diagnosis surprised me. But you roll with it."

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Cynthia Nixon

Not long after the breast cancer story line on Sex and the City, star Cynthia Nixon was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. Her doctors found the cancer through a routine mammogram, and she later underwent radiation and lumpectomy, according to Newsday.

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Olivia Newton-John

Actress Olivia Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, the same weekend her father died of liver cancer. "I underwent a partial mastectomy and breast reconstruction. It's been a long journey, but now I am cancer-free," she writes on the Web site for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre. The center is located at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.

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Peter Criss

Breast cancer can truly afflict anyone—even a (male) rock star like Peter Criss, drummer for KISS. He was diagnosed in 2007 after he found a painful lump, and he later had a lumpectomy followed by a mastectomy. He served as an artist ambassador for Hard Rock's 2014 Pinktober Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign and recently walked in the American Cancer Society's annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Point Pleasant, N.J.

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Kylie Minogue

International pop star Kylie Minogue learned she had breast cancer at just 37 years old. Almost 10 years later, she still wept when discussing the illness on Australian 60 Minutes. "It is years until you really get the all clear," she said, "and by the time my hair started growing back, it was very exciting. It was like a miracle."

 

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Robin Roberts

Good Morning America host Robin Roberts spends every morning with her viewers, and she hasn't shied away from sharing her breast cancer fight with them, either. She explained that she went public because of her struggle with her own insurance company over tests. "I'm very blessed—I have good health care, a great job," she told Prevention. "But my mother kept saying, 'You're not the norm. So be the voice for those people who don't have it as good as you do.'" Her colleague Amy Robach got a mammogram on-air as part of their increased coverage, and it revealed a malignant mass in her breast.

Read more: About That Study That Says Mammograms Don't Save Lives

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