When celebrities deal with illness of any type it helps to raise awareness among the public. Many celebrities have helped to draw attention to cancer and cancer research. Breast cancer in particular has affected many celebrities, and many of them openly talk about their battle with the disease. Some famous breast cancer survivors are:
Melissa Etheridge: She was diagnosed in October 2002 and immediately started a course chemotherapy. Etheridge experienced hair loss and loss of appetite due to treatment. She reportedly responded well to treatment and is doing well.
Kate Jackson: While working on her show, Scarecrow and Mrs. King in 1987, Jackson decided to have a mammogram. This turned out to be a wise decision as a tumor was discovered. After a lumpectomy Jackson was able to return to work, receiving radiation treatment at the same time. Another mammogram revealed that not all of the cancer had been caught by the previous treatment. She had to undergo a partial mastectomy then had breast reconstruction done.
Olivia Newton-John: She was diagnosed in 1992 just as she was about to embark on a tour to promote an album. Newton-John underwent mastectomy and later had breast reconstruction surgery.
Suzanne Somers: The actress revealed in 2001 that she was fighting breast cancer. She underwent a lumpectomy and radiation therapy. She caused a bit of controversy by deciding against chemotherapy, opting instead for alternative treatments.
Edie Falco: This Sopranos star somehow managed to keep her 2003 breast cancer diagnosis a secret from the public. Her course of treatment was reportedly successful and she is now said to be free of the disease.
Jaclyn Smith: Like Kate Jackson, Smith starred in the TV show, Charlie’s Angels. She was diagnosed with the disease in 2003. While her first thought was to have the affected breast removed, a lumpectomy followed by radiation proved successful.
Rue McClanahan: This former Golden Girl star received her breast cancer diagnosis in June 1997. She admitted to being shocked after discovering a small lump in her breast.
Richard Roundtree: This actor serves as a reminder than men can also get breast cancer though it is rare. After being diagnosed in 1993 he underwent a double mastectomy and chemotherapy.
Many celebrities whose lives have been touched by this illness have gone on to become advocates for screening and cancer research. Other well known names who have won the fight against breast cancer include actresses Ann Jillian and Jill Eikenberry and feminist Gloria Steinem.