Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis is terrifying, to say the least, and these celebs have firsthand experience. But they’ve been able to take a traumatic experience and turn it into something positive. They’ve used their platform and profile to raise awareness about the importance of early detection as they share messages of hope with others battling the disease.
In 2016, supermodel Janice Dickinson revealed that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She described feelings of shock initially, but said, “I am not gonna let that define me, the fear. I’m going to get through this; I’ll be just fine.”
The 90210 actress has been battling breast cancer since 2015, and has documented her journey on her Instagram. This past April, she announced she’s in remission.
The actress revealed to People magazine that she had a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma. She received the diagnosis only after getting a second opinion. She spoke about the situation saying, “I hope this will encourage others to get a second opinion and to trust their instincts if something doesn’t ‘feel’ right.”
TV Personality Giuliana Rancic was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. She and her husband created Fab-U-Wish, which grants wishes to women undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Wanda Sykes opted for a preventative mastectomy after the comedian learned she had stage 0 breast cancer upon having a breast reduction surgery six years ago. She discussed the journey with Ellen DeGeneres
Upon learning about a lump in her breast after her yearly screening, singer Sheryl Crow has become a major advocate for early detection. She showed no signs of cancer but was able to act quickly to treat the disease thanks to the information she received during the screening.
Though she wasn’t diagnosed with cancer, Angelina Jolie opted to have a double mastectomy after she learned she has a genetic mutation that can indicate an increased risk of breast cancer. She wrote a piece explaining her decision advocating for early detection efforts.
These celebs have used their diagnosis to raise awareness for early detection, while also providing encouragement to other survivors.
Lauren Levine is a freelance writer who has contributed to publications and websites including The Charlotte Observer, U.S. News & World Report, American Way magazine, The Huffington Post, Hello Giggles, Bustle, Thrillist, Thought Catalog, and others.