The faces of victory

Anastacia - Singerthefacesofvictory.jpg

In January 2003, singer Anastacia’s cancer diagnosis was leaked to the media before she’d even had time to tell her friends, giving her no choice but to go public with her illness. She responded well to radiation treatment and was given the all-clear in June the same year. Continuing to be free of cancer, she has offered a very public example of the advantages of early detection, and since her illness, she has raised serious sums of money to encourage this through her Anastacia Fund.

Edie Falco - Actress

Edie Falco, well known on the hit series The Sopranos was diagnosed in 2003 and underwent treatment during the filming of the show’s fifth season in 2004. Of surviving Falco says, “Obviously, it wasn’t meant for me to die of cancer at 40. Every day my life surprises me, just like my cancer diagnosis surprised me. But you roll with it”.

Melissa Etheridge - Singer

The Grammy-winning singer was on tour in Canada in October 2004 when she discovered a lump in her left breast. A biopsy and then surgery revealed Stage II cancer, which had spread only to one lymph node. Immediately following a rough two months of chemotherapy treatment, a bald and recovering Etheridge made a brave appearance at the 2005 Grammy Awards ceremony singing “Take a Little Piece of My Heart” during a tribute to Janis Joplin. The song then became an anthem for breast cancer survivors everywhere.

Sheryl Crow - Singer

In early 2006, a routine mammogram showed calcifications in both breasts for this singer/songwriter and was followed by minimally invasive surgery and then radiation therapy. Crow is now happy to say that during her last check-up she got an all clear and is in breast cancer remission. At that time, Crow says she realised she needed to take care of herself by putting herself first, as opposed to the many years when her focus was on taking care of others.

Kylie Minogue -  Singer

Australian pop superstar and actress, Kylie Minogue was diagnosed in May 2005 with early-stage breast cancer. On tour at the time, she stopped performing in order to undergo chemo and radiation. With the recommencement of her tour in November 2006 in Sydney, Australia Minogue discussed her illness, and said that her chemotherapy treatment had been like “experiencing a nuclear bomb”.

Suzanne Somers - Actress

Suzanne Somers announced in Spring 2001 that she had breast cancer and she was treated with conventional surgery and radiation therapy. Instead of pursuing elective chemotherapy after her treatment, Somers chose an alternative therapy using mistletoe injections. Somers is also a supporter of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. 

Ann Jillian - Actress

At the age of 35, actress turned motivational speaker, Ann Jillian discovered she had breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy. With the love and support of her family and friends she battled the disease courageously and successfully. Ann has become a symbol of hope and inspiration to cancer victims and their families.

Christina Applegate - Actress

Best known as Kelly Bundy on Married ... With Children and Samantha Newly on Samantha Who? Christina Applegate recently underwent a double mastectomy after cancer was discovered in one of her breasts. The 36-year-old actress decided to have a prophylactic mastectomy after testing positive for the BRCA-1 gene, which significantly raised the risk of her cancer returning. Wanting to avoid the intense chemotherapy, radiation and frequent follow-up doctor visits she watched her mom (who also suffered from breast cancer) endure, Applegate says her decision to remove her breasts was tough but she’s now cancer-free.

Richard Rountree - Actor

Best known for his role as the sex-machine private detective, John Shaft in the 1970 film, Shaft, Richard Roundtree is proof that breast cancer affects men too. Roundtree discovered a lump in his right breast in 1993 and received chemotherapy, radiation treatments and a mastectomy. Roundtree is now a breast cancer advocate, working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to raise men’s awareness of the disease, and speaks to men’s groups about early detection.

Kate Jackson - actress

Kate Jackson is best known for her role in the original Charlies Angel’s trio but more importantly she battled cancer in 1987 and in 1989 and kicked its butt both times.

Jaclyn Smith - actress and businesswoman

Charlie’s Angels star, Jaclyn Smith discovered a lump during a routine checkup in 2002 and underwent a lumpectomy and radiation therapy. The actress’ diagnosis came 15 years after fellow Angel’s star, Kate Jackson’s initial treatment for breast cancer.

Rue McClanahan - actress

Star of the hit sitcom, Golden Girls, Rue McClanahan became a survivor in 1997 after finding a pea-sized lump in her breast.

Sandra Day O’Connor - first female u.s. supreme court justice

Sandra O’Connor had a mastectomy to battle her 1988 breast cancer diagnosis, and stronger-willed and determined, returned to the bench after missing just two weeks of work.

Jerri Nielsen - american physician

Jerri Nielsen famously self-administered a biopsy and later chemotherapy, after discovering a breast tumour while in Antarctica.