10 Celebrity Cancer Survivors

by Elizabeth Yuko
Jun 4, 2017 at 4:00 a.m. ET
Image: Getty Images, WENN

Being rich and famous doesn't make you immune to cancer, and these women showed us what courage looks like by sharing their stories. Here's a quick look at some familiar names who went public with their illness.

1 /11: Cynthia Nixon

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1/11 :Cynthia Nixon

After initially keeping her diagnosis to herself, the Sex and the City star went public with her breast cancer. She later went on to be an outspoken advocate for breast cancer research, including serving as the official spokeswoman for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

2 /11: Hoda Kotb

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2/11 :Hoda Kotb

The co-anchor of the fourth hour of Today was very open about her breast cancer, including her post-illness body, which she described as looking like "a road map." She underwent an extensive eight-hour surgery, which included a mastectomy and reconstruction. 

3 /11: Christina Applegate

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3/11 :Christina Applegate

Applegate was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. Luckily, her doctors caught it early enough and were able to successfully treat her. She then decided to have a double mastectomy as a preventative measure because she carries the BRCA gene, making her prone to breast and ovarian cancer. 

4 /11: Fran Drescher

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4/11 :Fran Drescher

It took two years and eight doctors before Fran Drescher received a correct diagnosis of uterine cancer. She has gone on to be a vocal advocate for women's health and continues to spread the message of trusting women when we say that something is wrong with our own body.

5 /11: Wanda Sykes

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5/11 :Wanda Sykes

Wanda Sykes went in for a routine breast-reduction surgery when the doctors found very early-stage cancer in her left breast. She then decided to have a double mastectomy as a preventative measure, as breast cancer runs in her family.

6 /11: Joan Lunden

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6/11 :Joan Lunden

After Joan Lunden was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, she immediately began sharing her journey with her fans through her website and Today. She stressed the importance of being your own patient advocate and trying not to worry about losing your hair.

7 /11: Cybill Shepherd

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7/11 :Cybill Shepherd

Back in 2002, Cybill Shepherd was diagnosed with skin cancer, which she attributed to not using sunscreen as a child. She had surgery to remove the cancerous growth and now ensures she's protected from the sun. 

8 /11: Gloria Steinem

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8/11 :Gloria Steinem

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem has battled the patriarchy and breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 1986. She took it as a "wake-up call" for her to slow down. Given the fact that she's still up and running and inspiring people everywhere at the age of 83, I'm not sure that stuck.

9 /11: Robin Roberts

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9/11 :Robin Roberts

The treatment for Robin Roberts' breast cancer did rid her of the disease, but then ended up giving her a rare blood disorder. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon, and Roberts drew much-needed attention to this less talked-about aspect of chemotherapy. 

10 /11: Melissa Etheridge

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10/11 :Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge had a lumpectomy plus five rounds of chemotherapy and radiation to treat her breast cancer in 2005. She has since spoken out about how positive thinking helped in the healing process. 

11 /11: Shannen Doherty

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11/11 :Shannen Doherty

The former 90210 star was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and documented her journey on Instagram. As of April 2017, she announced that she was in remission.