Inspiring Female Celebrities Who Beat Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States and is estimated to have been affecting 220,000 women each year. Given the fact, celebrities are no exemption for this type of cancer.

Surviving cancer is a very challenging situation and literally, anyone could easily be vulnerable to this disease. It is good to know some of the people who managed to beat breast cancer and continued to inspire and help many others get through their battles.

Although there are a lot of traditional and alternative cancer treatments and procedures specifically for breast cancer, it’s best to have a proactive approach because early detection is a priority.

Dame Margaret Natalie Smith

Widely known for her role as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the blockbuster film series, Harry Potter. Maggie Smith was born on December 28, 1934, in Essex, England, and has made a name not only in television and film but also in other aspects of the entertainment industry.

For more than six decades, Maggie has dedicated her life to dramatic arts which paved the way for her to be appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 1990 her rank was raised to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her extensive services to the performing arts.

In 1969 Smith received her first Best Actress award for her characterization of the school teacher, Jean, for the movie, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. She also received a Variety Club award for her stage performance in 1972, Noel Coward’s Private Life.

However, her career soared higher after attracting the new generation with her role as Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter Series. In 2007 Maggie was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she has to endure it while filming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

In 2009 she was reported to have made full recovery but not after undergoing intensive treatment including chemotherapy which caused hair loss. Queen Elizabeth II also awarded her Companion of Honour in 2014 for her outstanding contributions to drama.

Wanda Sykes

EMMY award-winning writer, actress, comedienne Wanda Yvette Sykes was born to Harry and Marion Sykes in Portsmouth, Virginia on March 7, 1964. One of her most notable achievements was winning a Primetime Emmy Award in 1999 as a writer on The Chris Rock Show.

Formerly a procurement officer for the National Security Agency, the first time Wanda started pursuing the entertainment industry was during Coors Light Super Talent Showcase in 1987 at Washington DC.

Wanda had to juggle being a procurement officer and a comic for 5 years until she decided to pursue being a stand-up comedian in 1992. It was 1995 when she opened for Chris Rock in New York City at Caroline’s Comedy Club.

She was given a huge break when Chris Rock hired her as his writer during the launching of the Chris Rock Show in 1997. Moving forward, she has received several nominations as well as awards.

It was in 2011 when Wanda opened up about her diagnosis with ductal carcinoma in situ which led to her decision to undergo a double mastectomy as a preventive measure. Although considered an aggressive strategy, Wanda didn’t want to take any chances given that her mother’s side has a history of cancer.

Carly Simon

Born to Richard and Andrea Simon who was also musically inclined, Carly Elisabeth Simon rose to fame in the music industry as a singer-songwriter in the 1970s. She was born on June 25, 1945, at the Bronx borough in New York.

Her music career started with her sister Lucy in a duo called the Simon Sisters that made the single “Winkin’, Blinkin’ and Nod” in April of 1964. After a short while, Carly embarked on a solo career releasing her first self-titled album in February 1971.

Her major career breakthrough was her 1972 album “No secrets” which made top 1 on the billboard charts carrying her first solo hit, “you’re so vain”. It was also this year when she married co-singer James Taylor. Carly gave birth to Sally and Ben 3 years apart, born in the years 1974 and 1977 respectively. Ben and Sally grew up to be musicians, just like their parents.

In 1977 she sang a gold Top Ten Hit “Nobody Does It Better”, the theme song for the James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me. It was October of the same year that she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Carly had to undergo a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery during her fight with cancer. In 1980 she collapsed on stage while performing due to exhaustion and then she became less active as a performer.

This did not stop her from receiving various awards and recognitions as she continued, albeit at a more relaxed pace, to write and produce music.

Christina Applegate

Christina is an award-winning actress and dancer, won her first acting award in 1987 when she won Exceptional Performance By a Young Actress for the series Heart of the City. Her career blossomed early at the age of 15 when she played Kelly Bundy in the Fox series, Married… with children that aired for a decade from 1987 to 1997.

She was born in Hollywood California on November 25, 1971, to Robert William “Bob” Applegate and Nancy Lee Priddy, both of which are in show business. Her parents’ split-up shortly after Christina was born, and Nancy had to bring her up on her own. 

Christina’s father was a Music Producer and a record company executive while her mother was a singer and actress. This resulted in her early appearance on the television, in the soap opera Days of our Lives, where she was featured being carried by her mother Nancy. 

Before her breakthrough role in Fox’s popular sitcom Married… with children, Christina performed on different commercials, TV shows, and films. Her first debut film was in the movie Jaws of Satan (King Cobra) that was screened in 1981.

In 2008 she was diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer, although not life-threatening she opted to undergo a bilateral mastectomy. After the successful treatment, she joined a number of notable breast cancer awareness movements, helping others who’ve been in the same situation.



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