Celebrities Who Survived Breast Cancer


Like in any other industry, there are a number of heroes and inspirational personalities in the Hollywood. There are many emotional stories of women celebrities who have been pretty open about their struggles with breast cancer. These stories have inspired lots of females around the world. Bravery of these women give courage and hope to young girls and women around the world.

We have collected a list of some of Hollywood’s bravest and most well-known breast cancer survivors in order to honor the Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to recognize those who have been impacted by this menace.


Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is one of the most popular actresses to spread awareness about breast and other cancers. In total, seven of Jolie’s family members have passed away due to cancer, including her mother. Angelina got herself thoroughly tested for cancer. She found out that she had the breast cancer gene BRCA1 in her gene pool which could increase the chances of her having breast and ovarian cancer. Therefore, she underwent a preventative double mastectomy. After sometime, she got her Fallopian Tubes and ovaries removed as well.


Wanda Sykes

Wanda is a stand-up comedian who sees loud comedy in all of the things, including her cancer. Her well-being took a grave turn in 2011. While going through testing for a surgery, she found out that she had cancer in her milk ducts, also known as DCIS. Wanda knew that she was at the risk of cancer spreading to other parts of her body as cancer runs in her maternal family. Thus, she underwent operation to remove her breasts.


Shannen Doherty

Doherty became a famous star due to her role in Beverly Hills 90210. She suffered from stage IV of breast cancer and has gone through the treatment before in 2015 as well.

She went through all of the stages of cancer treatment which are surgery, radiation, chemotherapy. For a year, she did not disclose the news that she was in remission. However, she told the public about her breast cancer affecting her again. According to her, sometimes she feels that it is not fair that has to go through so much pain. At the same time, she believes that nobody deserves this.


Sheryl Crow

Sheryl is a musician with a healthy régime and had no cases of cancer in her family. When her 2006 mammogram showed concerns, the radiologist recommended she goes through testing after few months. But her OB/GYN suggested a biopsy to examine her tissue samples. The outcomes exhibited DCIS. Crow had a lumpectomy to remove her carcinogenic cells. Moreover, she had radiation therapy for about seven weeks.


Christina Applegate

Christina’s mother was a survivor of cancer. Thus, Christina was meticulous regarding her yearly mammograms. One of her MRI displayed cancerous cells in her left breast. As a result, her doctor arranged a lumpectomy and a series of radiation. Unfortunately, she was confirmed positive for the gene that results in breast cancer. It meant that she was at the high risk of having cancer again in future. So she decided to opt for double mastectomy instead of lumpectomy.


Robin Roberts

The co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America felt some swelling in her breast during a self-exam in 2007. She immediately knew that it was not normal, so she went for testing to confirm her suspicions. The tests showed that she had the rapidly-growing triple-negative cancer, which is quite common among the African Americans and Hispanics community. Robin went through a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy to treat disease. Since then, she has been on the mission of spreading awareness about the importance of self-exams because they can catch breast cancer cases at early stages.


Melissa Etheridge

Melissa discovered a big bump in her breast while on tour at the age of 43, her first response was of denial. Cancer ran intensely in Etheridge’s family. Her mother, father, aunt, and grandmother had suffered from various kinds of cancer. After Melissa went through testing, she found out that she had stage III breast cancer. After some more tests, doctors reduced the analysis to second stage. It meant that the cancer was limited to only her breasts and had not spread to other parts of the body. Soon after she completed her treatment, Etheridge did an excellent performance bald at the 2005 Grammy Awards.     


Sandra Lee

In 2015, Sandra Lee, the star and New York state’s unofficial first lady, discovered she had DCIS, meaning the cancer was restricted to her milk ducts. Regrettably, the tumors were in three dissimilar places in the breast. Concerned that the cancer may appear in the other breast, Lee chose a double mastectomy. She recorded her experience, as well as her surgery, for an HBO documentary.


Giuliana Rancic

E! News co-host Rancic was thirty-six and planning to initiate her third round of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments in 2011 when a mammogram identified an early-stage breast tumor. A lumpectomy was unsuccessful in getting free from the cancer.


Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton is a famous Australian actress and singer. Since her 1992 diagnosis, Olivia has become one of the most recognized supporters for breast cancer awareness in the world. In 2017, Newton-John told the world that she was suffering from cancer in her lower back. The following year she admitted an early encounter with cancer, in 2013, in her shoulder. According to her, she is doing really great and medical marijuana is helping her in this difficult journey.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus

After winning her sixth Emmy, Julia got her biopsy result which showed she had breast cancer. Louis-Dreyfus underwent rounds of chemo while her Veep was off-air for a break. High number of chemotherapy rounds caused her severe nausea and diarrhea. After a touch one year, tests exhibited her cancer was gone. Louis-Dreyfus used her experience and popularity to pass laws for health care and to aid women have enough money for breast reconstruction.


Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates always had the suspicion that she can get cancer because her mother had breast cancer.  Initially, cancer was discovered in her ovaries. After some years, she was diagnosed with breast cancer as well. She had a double mastectomy. She also had a surgical difficulty called lymphedema, which result in aching fluid accumulation under the skin.


Kylie Minogue

Kylie is a British pop singer. According to Kylie, her doctor was not able to diagnose her breast cancer in 2005. She got to know about the incorrect diagnosis only when she got another opinion numerous weeks later. Minogue rapidly had lumpectomy to eliminate the small tumor, trailed by chemo. She now tells women to have belief and confidence in their instincts.


Betsey Johnson

Betsey, a well-known fashion designer, discovered she was suffering from breast cancer by an accident in 1999 after she was transferred to the hospital when one of her breast grafts leaked and broke down.  Recognized for her colorful style, Johnson initially told only her daughter out of anxiety that it might upset her commercial prospects. Since then, Johnson has become a vocal supporter for breast cancer awareness.


Cynthia Nixon

At a tender age, Cynthia Nixon saw her mother fight breast cancer and made it her job to be watchful about getting consistent mammograms. In 2006, the famous actress was detected with the disease after a routine mammogram. It wasn’t until 2008 that Cynthia elaborated her battle with cancer openly. She has since operated with Susan G. Komen for The Cure as an ambassador.


Rita Wilson

Rita Wilson underwent invasive lobular carcinoma in 2015. This is a rare type of cancer that starts from the cells that are along the breast lobules, where milk is generated. Wilson had operation to remove her cancerous breasts and reconstruction procedure as well. Wilson was originally discovered to have lobular carcinoma in situ, which is not a cancer but which does increase your danger of having invasive breast cancer.


Amy Robach

Amy Robach is a popular host of Good Morning America. In honor of the breast awareness month, she went through mammogram on TV. Soon after that, she was diagnosed with cancer. She swiftly arranged operation to remove both of her breasts, a stage her doctor measured to be too radical for her early-stage cancer. Amy went on air when was going through chemotherapy.


Suzanne Somers

This famous sitcom star had surgical procedure and radiation for breast cancer in 2001. But instead of chemotherapy, Somers chose to take a drug formed from mistletoe extract, which is not permitted by the FDA. In Europe, mistletoe extract is extensively given as a corresponding therapy for cancer. Somers went on to embrace a debatable dietary method to treat cancer and now says she would never have opted for radiation if she had chosen the diet plan earlier.


Edie Falco

After just a few hours of getting her cancer diagnosis, Falco was acting on The Sopranos with James Gandolfini, who was playing the role Tony. Falco said the tremor of her diagnosis assisted in acting the scene with extreme passion and anger. She worked on all of the days during her 2003 chemotherapy. Edie says she was able to do it because it occurred after she had left liquor and gotten clean.


Martina Navratilova

Well-known tennis champion Navratilova requests women not to delay regular mammograms like she used to. In 2010, she was diagnosed with DCIS. She had not gone for a mammogram in the past five years. Despite her surprise and shock at the diagnosis, she played excellently and had a lumpectomy 3 weeks later. After about two weeks, she contested in a 25-mile cycling portion of a triathlon in Hawaii.


Gloria Steinem

Women’s rights advocate Gloria Steinem has been a key voice for the feminist movement for over 30 years. In 1986, she was identified with early-stage breast cancer. For Gloria, it was a symbol that she was required to slow down. She felt that she had worked too hard. Thus, she took time to focus on her health. After her recovery, she printed a memoir about her fights titled Revolution from Within.


Jaclyn Smith

Jaclyn Smith is a well-known celebrity and a mother of two. She remained caught up in work and felt completely fit, so she never took any testing serious. Her physician wanted to take a sample of her left breast tissue for testing. The test result that it was malignant left Smith so dazed that she hardly heard the doctor comfort her that the tumor was minor and caught early. Today, Smith frequently advises women in similar circumstances to have someone with them to help them to aid in sorting the necessary medical information.


Diahann Carroll

She initiated her modeling career at the age of 15. She became one of the best-known African American performers as a vocalist, Broadway star, and a television pioneer. She kept her cancer private for a short time. But she speedily got over her pride when she understood her story could help other women.  At 84 years old, Dihann died in Los Angeles on October 4, 2019.


Carly Simon

Singer-songwriter Simon had fruitful surgery to eliminate a stage I tumor in 1997. The 1970s icon’s doctor gave her the choice to whether have chemo or not. Simon later accepted she was in profound depression around the same time. Since then, she’s written a best-selling biography and stays busy writing and creating music.


Maggie Smith

At the age of 73, Maggie Smith was diagnosed with cancer she started filming for Harry Potter. Smith previously had discovered a lump she incorrectly assumed to be benign. After 2 years of treatment, doctors declared her cancer-free.


Maura Tierney

In 2009, Maura Tierney had been promoted to star in a famous show Parenthood. It just so ensued that her cancer diagnosis came around the same time and the show makers offered to the delay the show so that Maura could obtain treatment. Further testing presented that Maura was going to require more extensive care than anticipated, and thus she had to reject the role to focus on her health and recovery.


Joan Lunden

Joan Lunden became a household name through her anchoring at Good Morning America. She was diagnosed with Stage-2 double negative breast cancer. Due to the abnormal location of her tumors, Lunden picked a relatively new treatment path that had chemotherapy first, to decrease the size of the tumors in order to make surgery negligibly invasive. The lumpectomy was effective and Lunden is on the road to recovery.


Shirley Temple Black

Shirley Temple Black was one of the first women in Hollywood to openly express her struggles with breast cancer. Shirley was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 43 in 1972. The tumor was detached and a radical mastectomy was conducted. She explained her experiences by writing an article.


Judy Blume

Well-known and a best-seller young adult novelist Judy Blume shared her struggle with breast cancer with the world in a blog post in 2020. Blume described that her tumor was diagnosed during a breast ultrasound. A biopsy verified that she indeed had breast cancer. In her blog post, she wrote about her surprise at the impossible conditions. She had no genetic markers related to cancer as no one in her close family had cancer. She underwent a mastectomy and reconstruction. She is now coming back to the world stage and appreciating her time in remission.


Rene Syler

Rene Syler, former co-host for The Early Show, was spotted with breast cancer in 2007. She went through a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy and has been working diligently to reach more and more people to put emphasize on the breast cancer. Like Cynthia Nixon, she has since become a representative for Susan G. Komen to spread awareness about prevention and detection.


Teresa Heinz Kerry

Teresa Heinz is a philanthropist and the wife of John Kerry, former presidential nominee. She suffered from cancer in both of her breasts, which hardly ever happens. She also had a dissimilar type of early-stage cancer in each breast. In such cases, the odds of cancer-free survival hinge on on the breast with the more destructive tumors. The treatments needed can vary, too. Kerry had a lumpectomy in each breast, along with radiation therapy to completely remove cancerous cells.


Ann Romney

For Ann Romney, breast cancer was a frightening and acquainted possibility, as numerous of her family members went through this disease. In 2008, Ann’s worst doubts became a reality when she was detected with early-stage breast cancer. The cancer was diagnosed soon enough that she did not need chemotherapy. However, she did have operation to eliminate her tumor, as well as radiation. She has said that her fight with the disease has permitted her to sympathize with other more and made her feel more humane.


Nancy Reagan

Nancy Reagan was identified with breast cancer in 1987 after a lesion was found during a mammogram. At that time, she was serving as the First Lady of the Unites States. She made the choice of undergoing a mastectomy instead of a lumpectomy. The surgery was done in October of 1987. Nancy Reagan’s battle with breast cancer elevated awareness across the the whole country. It encouraged more females to obtain mammograms countrywide.