Celebrities who fought and Beat Cancer:
For many, the battle against cancer is private – a difficult and painful experience shared only among friends and families. But, for celebrities, where little is private but clout is high, sharing their cancer battles with the public can inspire others.
Some men might be embarrassed to discuss testicular cancer, but for world-famous cyclist, Lance Armstrong, his diagnosis was an opportunity to educate the world and to overcome incredible odds. In 1996, at age 25, Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his brain, lungs and abdomen. His battle led him to create The Livestrong Foundation, a well-known foundation that provides support services to cancer patients and their loved ones. The Livestrong foundation has raised more than $500 million to help cancer survivors and advocate on their behalf.
Actress, Christina Applegate, used her celebrity status to raise awareness of breast cancer and the genetic trigger for the disease. After her diagnosis in 2008, Christina underwent a double mastectomy – even though she only had cancer in one breast – after learning she had inherited the BRCA1 gene mutation. Christina’s battle inspired her to create the organization, Right Action for Women. The organization provides assistance to women who are at risk of breast cancer, but do not have the insurance or financial ability to cover the costs of the screenings they need.
Fran Drescher’s voice is unmistakable, but her cancer wasn’t. After two years of symptoms, eight doctors and a misdiagnosis for a perimenopausal condition, Fran was diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2000. She immediately had a radical hysterectomy and has now been cancer-free for more than 10 years. Since her battle with cancer, she has written a book about her experience, launched a website and started an advocacy group focused on prevention, early detection and policy change on Capitol Hill. Because of all her hard work, she earned a spot as one of the Top 5 Celebrity Lobbyists by Washingtonian Magazine.
Sixty-two PGA tour wins doesn’t compare to the triumph of overcoming prostate cancer for golf legend, Arnold Palmer. After his diagnosis in 1997, he had a radical prostatectomy and radiation to treat the disease. Since then, Palmer used his celebrity status to raise awareness of the disease and founded the Arnold Palmer Prostate Center, a nonprofit, state-of-the-art, comprehensive cancer center at the Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center.