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Celebrities Who Have Had Breast Cancer

By Expert HERWriter
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Breast Cancer related image Photo: Getty Images

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and if you pay attention to Hollywood, you’ll know there are quite a few survivors who are doing what they can to promote the cause. As I tell my patients, the number one risk factor for breast cancer is being a woman. It doesn’t care how famous or how rich you are so it’s important you take care of your health.

1. Christina Applegate – this 38-year-old actress was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. She opted to have a double mastectomy because she tested positive for the BRCA1 gene. Currently she is pregnant with a baby girl.

2. Sheryl Crow – this 48-year-old musician was diagnosed in 2006 and after surgery and radiation, she is healthy and a mom to two boys.
3. Cynthia Nixon – this 44-year-old actress famous for her role in Sex and the City fought breast cancer in 2006 but didn’t announce it until 2008 on Good Morning America.
4. Hoda Kotb – this 46-year-old TV host was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 that led to a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. She allowed The Today show cameras to follow her through the process.
5. Melissa Etheridge – this 49-year-old musician was diagnosed in 2004 and underwent chemotherapy.

I would like to further point out that each of these women were not yet 50 years old at the time of diagnosis. Given the new governmental guidelines to start mammograms at 50, I am glad none of the other cancer groups or foundations have changed their recommendations of beginning at 40 years old. I encourage you to please pay attention to your breast health and get imaging when appropriate.

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HERWriter Guide

As a woman diagnosed with breast cancer in my 30's, who now has leukemia, and continues to meet other breast cancer survivors who also have leukemia, I think that in addition to better diagnostic tools we need a better understanding of the impact radiation has on the body and to focus on ways to reduce our exposure. The debate over screening guidelines is not without merit, but it was without good communications counsel on how to educate women about the risks that come with radiation exposure. We need a stronger focus on our overall health, the overall risk of cancer, and the needs of regular, everyday women including cancer survivors.

October 8, 2010 - 4:46pm
EmpowHER Guest

That is all true but...mamography did not find my cancer nor did it find cancerous tumors in the vast majority of my friends who have been diagnosed. MRI and Ultrasounds did detect our cancers. We need better diagnostic tools.

October 8, 2010 - 6:47am
(reply to Anonymous)

You are absolutely correct, Anonymous. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

October 8, 2010 - 6:49am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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