Cancer does not discriminate. These celebrities have shared their own experiences dealing with cancer with their fans.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1.7 million new cases will be diagnosed in the United States in 2018, and more than 600,000 will die from the disease. Cancer doesn’t discriminate, and being a celebrity doesn’t shield anyone from the disease.
In the past several years, a number of famous faces have spoken publicly about their own experiences battling cancer.
From actor Ben Stiller, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer several years ago, to singer Sheryl Crow, who has become an advocate for early detection tests for breast cancer, these celebrities have spoken out about their cancer diagnoses and treatments.
Olivia Newton-John is in the midst of her third battle with breast cancer.
In September 2018, the 70-year-old singer and actress announced she was postponing her North American concert tour after she was diagnosed with cancer for a third time. In a Facebook post, Newton-John wrote that a tumor had metastasized in her lower back and she was undergoing radiation treatment.
The “Grease” star was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. She underwent nine months of chemotherapy and had a mastectomy. In 2013, doctors found that the cancer had returned and had spread to her shoulder.
It took Fran Drescher years to be properly diagnosed with uterine cancer.
The 61-year-old actress told the Washington Postshe saw eight doctors over the course of two years before she was properly diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2000. The “Nanny” star underwent a hysterectomy to treat the disease and wrote about her experiences in the book “Cancer Schmancer.” Drescher has since formed a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women recognize the early warning signs of the disease.
“I’m not glad I had cancer. I don’t wish it on anyone,” she told People in October 2018. “But I am better for it. It’s deepened me as a human being. It’s forced me to have a life that resonates with other people’s needs, with compassion and a sensitivity to other people’s pain.”
Jane Fonda had a cancerous growth removed from her lip in 2018.
The “Grace and Frankie” star showed up to an interview in January with a bandage on her lip and explained she’d recently had a growth removed.
“I just want to explain the bandage. I just had a cancer taken from my lip,” Fonda said in an interview with BUILD Series. “I thought it was going to heal in time before I came before you, but it’s fine. I just want to explain it. I don’t normally go around like this.”
In an interview with Howard Stern later that day, Fonda said doctors had biopsied the growth and she was going to be “fine.”
The 80-year-old had previously been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017.
After revealing she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, the “VEEP” star is cancer-free. The 57-year-old actress underwent three rounds of chemotherapy and told Jimmy Kimmel the good news when she visited his late night show in October.
The actress also said that she decided to speak out about her diagnosis and share updates on her treatment because she wanted to take the opportunity to advocate for affordable health care.
“I think it’s an important conversation to have about health and health care,” she told Kimmel. “I very much considered the notion that as someone battling this disease, the idea that I might not have health insurance, which I do thanks to my great union, is completely terrifying.”
Ben Stiller said he’s cancer-free after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014.
The “Zoolander” star underwent surgery to remove a tumor when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014. The 52-year-old gave fans an update on his health when he visited the “Today” show in 2017 and revealed he was “three years, now, cancer-free.”
The star came forward about his own battle so that he could encourage men to undergo early detection screening tests.
“And I’m really happy that getting the word out there, about the PSA [prostate-specific antigen] test, has actually made a little bit of a difference, I think,” he said during his appearance on the “Today” show. “A lot of people talk to me, and also the United States Preventive Services Task Force changed their guideline and recommended that you speak with your doctor about taking the test. So, I think it’s a good move.”
Cynthia Nixon learned she had breast cancer when it was still in its early stages thanks to a routine mammogram.
“The Sex and the City” star underwent six and a half weeks of radiation therapy and a lumpectomy when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006.
In 2011, the actress told CURE that a routine mammogram was able to detect the tumor while it was still small:
“My cancer was found during a routine mammogram when I was 40. Because my mother had breast cancer twice, I started getting mammograms when I was 35,” she said. “I think that speaks volumes of how important it is to get mammograms, how important it is to get them regularly and how important it is to get them young. If I had started when I was 40, maybe they wouldn’t have caught it.”