Celebrities Who Have Had Double Mastectomies
November 5th, 2012 11:00am EST
It's always shocking when a celebrity reveals he or she has battled a major health crisis. Angelina Jolie revealed last night in an article in The New York Times that she had a double mastectomy to prevent breast cancer.
Doctors told the actress she carried the "faulty" gene BRCA1 and had an 87 percent risk of developing the disease. Jolie's mother died at age 56 from ovarian cancer.
Last November, Sharon Osbourne told Hello! magazine that she voluntarily had a double mastectomy. The "America's Got Talent" star battled colon cancer in 2002, and it caused extreme stress for her rocker husband Ozzy and their children. So when she found out she had the breast cancer gene she decided on the radical treatment.
She explained, "I didn't even think of my breasts in a nostalgic way, I just wanted to be able to live my life without that fear all the time. It's not 'pity me', it's a decision I made that's got rid of this weight that I was carrying around."
Osbourne and Jolie aren't the only celebrities who have undergone the procedure. Check out other stars who have...
Christina Applegate had a double mastectomy in 2008. The actress had two lumpectomies just weeks after being diagnosed with cancer in only one breast, but she took a test that revealed that she had a BRCA1 genetic mutation, which put her at a high risk of a relapse and also of getting ovarian cancer. The star had the double mastectomy to help prevent future problems before even starting chemotherapy, and now she is 100 percent cancer free.
In 2011 E! television host Giuliana Rancic underwent a double mastectomy in the midst of her breast cancer battle. Surgeons performed a two-hour double lumpectomy and removed lymph nodes from the star, and not long after after she decided to have both breasts removed. She told E! News at the time, "After doing research and seeing the advancements, the surgery has come a long way from 20 years ago. The results can be incredible."
Rancic learned she had breast cancer while in the midst of her third attempt to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization. She and her husband successfully had a child via surrogate earlier this year.
Wanda Sykes found out she had breast cancer when she went into surgery for breast reduction. Lab work by doctors revealed that she had early stage breast cancer. Instead of going in for regular check-ups, Sykes opted for complete breast removal so the cancer would not spread.
She told Ellen DeGeneres last year, "I had the choice of, you can go back every three months and get it checked. Have a mammogram, MRI every three months just to see what it's doing... But, I'm not good at keeping on top of stuff. I'm sure I'm overdue for an oil change and a teeth cleaning already."
Doctors discovered a lump in Kathy Bates breast in summer 2012, and "after much consideration" the actress decided to have the operation. Bates, who beat ovarian cancer in 2003, told People magazine, "Luckily, I don't have to undergo radiation or chemo. My family calls me Kat because I always land on my feet, and thankfully this is no exception."
Montel Williams talked about how he had an unnecessary double mastectomy at age 19 on Dr. Mehmet Oz's talk show earlier this year. Doctors misdiagnosed a torn pectoralis muscle as male breast cancer. Williams, 56, said he suffers from emotional eating as a result. Williams also suffers from multiple sclerosis.
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