Famous women who defeated breast cancer

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If you have breast cancer, you should not be disappointed. Like celebrities who battled breast cancer and were able to defeat the disease.

Celebrities who got breast cancer and defeated it

Fighting breast cancer requires a lot of strength and courage, but it is very important to know that you are not alone. In this section, we want to introduce celebrities who are involved in the fight against breast cancer.

Rita Wilson

Actress-singer and wife of Tom Hanks, Wilson revealed in 2015 that she had invasive lobular carcinoma. This type of cancer starts in the cells that line the breast lobules, where milk is made after childbirth. Wilson had surgery to remove and reconstruct both breasts. Wilson was initially found to have lobular carcinoma in situ, which is not a cancer but which does raise your risk for invasive breast cancer.

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Angelina Jolie

Brad Pitt's ex-wife was not diagnosed with cancer by any doctor, but the famous actress immediately decided to cleanse her body as soon as she realized that she was carrying the "defective" BRCAI gene, which increases the risk of breast or ovarian cancer. With all the hardships that this period had for her, she defeated the disease for the love of her children.

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus

The morning after she won her sixth Emmy for her TV show Veep, this former  Seinfeld star got her biopsy result: breast cancer. Louis-Dreyfus received rounds of chemo while her show was on break, which left her with extreme nausea and diarrhea. A year later, tests showed her cancer was gone. Louis-Dreyfus used her experience and fame to push for universal health care and to help women afford breast reconstruction.

Hoda Kotb

Born in Oklahoma to parents who emigrated from Egypt, Kotb in 2007 was a busy international broadcast journalist and a correspondent for Dateline NBC. Then her gynecologist felt a suspicious lump in her breast during a routine checkup. Kotb had a mastectomy and now credits her diagnosis as a wake-up call that ultimately led to a happy new relationship and motherhood.

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Shannen Doherty

Doherty, former star of Beverly Hills, 90210, has stage IV breast cancer. She has been treated for breast cancer once before, having first been diagnosed in 2015. She had surgery, radiation, and chemo at the time and was in remission. She kept her cancer’s return private for about a year before going public with her news. Doherty told Good Morning America, "I definitely have days where I say, 'Why me?' And then I go, 'Well, why not me? Who else? Who else besides me deserves this?' None of us do.”

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Giuliana Rancic

E! News co-anchor Rancic was 36 and preparing to start her third round of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments in 2011 when a mammogram showed an early-stage breast tumor. A lumpectomy failed to get rid of the cancer. Rancic opted for a double mastectomy because she feared radiation or chemo treatments might make it harder for her to get pregnant.

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Christina Applegate

Her mother had survived breast cancer. So Applegate, an actress, was diligent about her yearly mammograms. When a follow-up MRI showed the disease in her left breast, her doctor scheduled a lumpectomy and a round of radiation. But then Applegate tested positive for the gene that causes breast cancer, which put her at high risk for having it again. So she chose to have a double mastectomy instead.

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Robin Roberts

The co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America felt a lump in her breast during a self-exam in 2007. Knowing right away it wasn’t normal, she went for an ultrasound and a biopsy. Roberts had the fast-growing triple-negative cancer, which happens more in African Americans and Hispanics. Roberts had a lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation therapy. She speaks out on self-exams, which catch about 40% of breast cancer cases.

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Melissa Etheridge

When this rocker and activist found a large lump in her breast while on tour at age 43, her instinct was denial. Cancer ran deeply in Etheridge’s family, including in her mother, father, aunt, and grandmother. Her tumor turned out to be stage III breast cancer. Doctors later downgraded the diagnosis to stage II, meaning that the cancer had not spread far from the breast. Shortly after she finished her treatment, Etheridge performed bald at the 2005 Grammy Awards.

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Kylie Minogue

Australian-British pop singer Minogue says her doctor missed her breast cancer in 2005. She learned about the misdiagnosis only when she went back for a second opinion several weeks later. Minogue quickly had lumpectomy to remove the small tumor, followed by chemo. She now tells women to trust their instincts. "If you have any doubt, go back again."

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Edie Falco

Just hours after she learned she had cancer, Falco was in front of the cameras on the set of The Sopranos with James Gandolfini, who played her ex-husband, Tony. Falco said the shock of her diagnosis helped fuel the anger the scene needed. She didn’t miss a day of work during her 2003 chemotherapy, which Falco credits to the fact that it happened after she had quit alcohol and gotten sober.

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Cynthia Nixon

The mother of this Sex and the City star and New York mayoral candidate had breast cancer twice. So Nixon started regular mammograms at 35, which is 15 years sooner than is generally advised for women without special risks. She credits her doctor for ordering the biopsy that caught her cancer 5 years later. Though the tumor was small, the doctor was suspicious because it hadn’t turned up in previous screenings.

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Suzanne Somers

This former sitcom star had surgery and radiation for breast cancer in 2001. But instead of chemotherapy, Somers opted to take a drug made from mistletoe extract, which is not approved by the FDA. In Europe, mistletoe extract is widely prescribed as a complementary therapy for cancer. Somers went on to embrace a controversial nutritional approach to treat cancer and now says if she could to do it over, she would skip radiation, too.

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Sheryl Crow

She’s a rock musician with a squeaky-clean lifestyle and no family history of cancer. But Crow’s dense breast tissue made it hard to do self-exams. When her 2006 mammogram raised flags, the radiologist suggested she check back in 6 months. But her OB/GYN recommended a biopsy to check her tissue samples. The results showed DCIS. Crow had a lumpectomy, which takes out only the cancerous tissue, plus 7 weeks of radiation therapy.

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