Cancer doesn’t discriminate. We’re often reminded of this fact when a new celebrity announces he or she has been diagnosed with the disease. Over the years, many Hollywood stars have shared their difficult health news with the public. Happily, many of them have also been able to announce that they are in remission or have beat cancer. Scroll down to read about some of the famous faces who have overcome their struggle — whether with breast cancer, skin cancer, brain cancer or anything in between — and find out how these stars kicked cancer to the curb and reclaimed their health.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Supreme Court Justice announced that she is “cancer free” in 2020 after receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer that summer. Ginsburg has been treated for cancer four times including colon cancer in 1999, surgery for early-stage pancreatic cancer in 2009 and surgery to remove cancer in her lung in 2018.
Desperate Housewives alum revealed to her Instagram followers on Sept. 15, 2018, that she had battled cancer and was in the process of growing back her hair. Three days later, she explained that she had beat anal cancer and was happy to finally let the world know about her journey. “After posting a picture of myself here and uttering the words #cancer and #hairloss, I felt liberated, deliriously free and completely me,” she wrote. “How or why this simple act gave me such a powerful lift I did not question, but I thanked God or whatever gave me the internal push to move forward and expose myself.”
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In September 2016, the veteran sportscaster was diagnosed with cervical cancer at her annual Ob-Gyn checkup. After undergoing two surgeries that October and November — without missing work or sharing her struggles with coworkers — she received the news that all of the cancerous cells had been cleared. Andrews spoke out about the fact that she was a survivor in January 2017 and has continued to advocate for cervical cancer screenings.
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After she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, Applegate underwent a double mastectomy. The following year, the cancer-free actress launched the Right Action foundation, which provides financial aid to women who want MRIs. “That’s what saved my life, and I want to give back,” she told
MTV continued to film Osbourne after she was diagnosed with colon cancer (which later spread to her lymph nodes) in 2002. Against a 33% survival prognosis, she beat the disease. Two years later, the talk show host founded the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program at Cedars Sinai Hospital in L.A.
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Angels & Demons star had a cancerous mole below his right eye removed in 2008. “It was great fun having skin cancer,” the now cancer-free actor joked at the time. “I really enjoyed it.”
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Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, Tierney was forced to pull out of a TV show shortly before filming began. But the actress (now in remission) is grateful doctors detected the disease early. “From the beginning my doctor told me, ‘You’re going to be okay,’ and I chose to believe him,” she said.
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The Australian singer learned she had breast cancer in 2005 and immediately began intense chemotherapy cycles. “Some days I don’t think about it at all, and other days I’m reminded of physically what I’ve been through,” Minogue (who is now cancer-free) tells
Michael C. Hall
How is the
Dexter star feeling after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in January? “I feel great,” the Emmy winner, who is now in remission, tells Us. “My treatment ended months ago, and my energy is back.”
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Modern Family star was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002. “When you are a cancer survivor, your priorities in life change,” the actress (who is now in remission) told Extra. Her advice for those currently battling the disease? “Live day to day and try not think too much about it.”
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Robert De Niro
Little Fockers actor was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003, the same disease that took his father’s life a decade earlier. One year later, De Niro announced he was in remission.
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In 2003, a year after finding a lump in her breast — and undergoing a mammogram that showed nothing — Falco learned she had the disease. Currently in remission, the
Nurse Jackie star told Parade her future involves “taking a trip to Sloan-Kettering hospital every six months to make sure I’m okay.”
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The cyclist was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer in 1996, which later spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain. He soon underwent chemotherapy and had an orchiectomy to remove his diseased testicle, which rendered him cancer-free. He then launched the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 1997.
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Sex and the City actress was diagnosed with breast cancer during a routine mammogram in 2006, though she didn’t announce the news until two years later on Good Morning America. With her cancer now in remission, Nixon serves as an ambassador for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
The actor took a short hiatus from
7th Heaven in 2002 when he discovered a lump on his neck. Soon after, he learned he had Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “I said, ‘I’m going to be fine. I know I am,'” he later recalled. In April 2003, Watson proudly announced he was in remission.
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The singer underwent a lumpectomy and seven weeks of radiation before being declared cancer-free in 2006. Two years later, she unveiled the Sheryl Crow Imaging Center in L.A., which features state-of-the-art digital screening and diagnostic technologies for the early detection of breast cancer.
The daytime host has endured two skin cancer scares. After having a lump removed from his hand via Mohs surgery, he had a more serious lump removed from his face in 1993.