It is not difficult to form a list of famous breast cancer survivors and out of all of the celebrity breast cancer survivors, there are thousands of regular women from all walks of life. Many of us know at least one woman in our lives who has been affected by breast cancerand chances are, they were able to successfully overcome it or live with the disease for longer than they may have even ten years ago. Hopefully, in the near future, breast cancer will become a treatable disease and no women will have to endure what so many others have or lose their lives to breast cancer. There are thousands of inspiring stories of everyday women who have won the battle with breast cancer and this is just a very short list of a few famous breast cancer survivors to inspire us.
Shirley Temple Black
Most people are familiar with the image of the young Shirley Temple from black and white movies, but what less people realize is that she was, in her own right, a pioneer in the area of raising awareness about breast cancer. Shirley Temple is a survivor of breast cancer and was one of the first celebrities with breast cancer to come out in public and discuss it when it was not a topic that was regularly talked about in interviews or the popular media. In addition to being a diplomat and former ambassador (this too is often a surprise for people) Shirley Temple is likely responsible for many women’s decision to get a mammogram and undergo screening for breast cancer as they understood the disease through the lens of someone they knew, even if only through the medium of the sliver screen.
Most know Edie Falco from her role as the wife of Tony Soprano from the hit HBO series “The Sopranos." As an actress in that role, she played a woman who was strong and no-nonsense with her husband and children and in her real life, those same character trait, this time made real, helped her survive breast cancer. After being diagnosed in 2003, Edie Falco underwent treatment and has no recurrence of the disease.
Many know Cynthia Nixon as Miranda from “Sex and the City" but what is just emerging recently is that the Cynthia Nixon was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 but did not come forth about her struggle with the disease until recently because she was unsure about reactions and did not want to be labeled because of her disease. Since coming forth with this announcement, however, Cynthia Nixon has gone full-steam ahead with her status as a survivor and now is an ambassador for the Susan G. Komen Cure initiatives, including Race for the Cure and Walk for the Cure. Cynthia Nixon has turned her breast cancer survivor status into a point of action and will soon appear on NBC to discuss the illness.
The voice of Carly Simon is almost immediately recognizable, especially to those over, say, the age of 35. Over the years, the singer has been successful and has enjoyed lasting fame and is yet another famous breast cancer survivor. Following a mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery in 1997, Carly Simon has been healthy and continues to write and sing music and is now a grandmother.
Betty Ford always has been and still continues an influence in American politics, following her husband’s presidency in the 1970s. She has been always been open about her sometimes unorthodox beliefs about family and social issues and has also been incredibly frank about her struggle with breast cancer. She underwent a mastectomy in the mid-1970s and, unlike many other women in the public eye during the time, was very open with the media and general population about the disease. This helped raise awareness about breast cancer and helped other women discuss an issue that had sensitivity associated with it at the time. Betty Ford is an inspiration to all breast cancer survivors and her personal story, breast cancer and other issues, is fascinating and inspiring.
The wife of quarterback Brett Favre and breast cancer survivor with an inspiring story in general (even without the breast cancer ordeal) and the founder of the organization the Deanna Favre Hope Foundation. Deanna Favre started this organization for raising awareness about breast cancer issues and to help fund educational programs for women.
It is impossible to list all of the celebrity breast cancer survivors, it seems there are far too many. While this is admittedly a very brief list, it shows that all women are capable of being strong and doing all they can to stay alive, beat the disease, and come out on top.