Hollywood celebrities may live glamorous lives, but even fame and fortune cannot guarantee good health. In fact, cancer has touched the lives of some celebrities at a surprisingly young age, sometimes reaching the peak of their careers. These stars have opened up about sharing their rare and unique stories of being diagnosed with cancer before the age of 40, and to pass on the hard-earned lessons they learned from their horrific health concerns. Read on to find out 13 celebrities who battled cancer before turning 40, and what they want people to know.
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dead to me star Christina Applegate She’s been in the public eye since she was a teen, so it came as a huge surprise to fans when she revealed that she was battling breast cancer at the age of 36.
After her condition was diagnosed, the star underwent genetic tests, which revealed that she had a genetic mutation in BRCA breast cancer. “If you have BRCA, you are very likely to develop cancer in your lifetime,” she explained. today In 2017. With this knowledge, Applegate decided to undergo a double mastectomy after which her ovaries and fallopian tubes were removed. “That’s how I got it under control,” she said. “It’s comforting.” “That’s something else off the table,” she joked. “Now, let’s hope a bus doesn’t hit me.”
Michael C. Hallcrime drama star DexterHe was busy filming the fourth season of the series when he learned that he had Hodgkin lymphoma. He was 38 at the time of his diagnosis – only one year younger than his father when he died. “I think I’ve been busy since I was eleven, and my father passed away, with the thought of my 39: Am I going to live that long? How would that be? To discover that I had Hodgkin’s was disconcerting, but at the same time I was kind of confused, Like: “Wow. Huh. How fun,” he said New York times in 2010.
Although Hall kept his diagnosis a secret throughout the season, it was later made public. He said, “I’m glad I did.” Watchman In 2014, “Because I’ve really underestimated it as a source of inspiration or strength for others. Just to see someone you know and spend time watching, who goes through the treatment process successfully, is valuable.”
While playing Gloria Delgado-Pritchett in the ABC comedy modern familyAnd Sofia Vergara She was the highest paid actress on television. But in 2001, at age 28, Vergara’s doctor made a shocking discovery during a routine check-up: a lump in her neck that would have been a cancerous thyroid tumor.
“When you’re young and you hear that word, ‘cancer,’ your mind goes a lot of places,” Vergara said. NBC News in 2021. “But I tried not to panic and decided to learn. I read every book and figured out all I could do about it.” The star settled on a course of treatment that included surgery to remove her thyroid, radiation, and daily thyroid hormone medication.
“I feel very lucky,” said Vergara. health in 2011. “In many women, cancer is not found until near menopause, after which it is too late.”
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Australian pop star Kylie Minogue She was only 36 when she learned that she had breast cancer. In a 2020 interview with PeopleShe thought about learning about her diagnosis in 2005. “It’s like the Earth has kind of slipped off its axis. You see everything differently,” she told the magazine.
After undergoing a lumpectomy and chemotherapy to treat her cancer, the star went into remission the following year. However, she said one of the lessons she learned from the experience stayed with her long after her recovery: “You don’t really know what anyone is going through,” she said. People.
Barry Watson Starred in the popular WB series 7th sky As the eldest son and brother Matt Camden. But in 2002, at the age of 28, the star learned that he had Hodgkin lymphoma. Watson took time off from the show to undergo chemotherapy, returning for the 150th episode with undetectable cancer.
Two decades after his diagnosis, Watson says the experience is at once a distant memory and always with him. “It’s still a huge part of my life because I keep thinking about it, but also time has passed where it’s almost like, ‘Did that really happen? Have you really been through all of that? “Now living this other life with my wife and kids that they weren’t even a part of that time, it feels like it was a long time ago,” he said. News letters in 2021.
soprano star Eddie Falco She was 40 years old when she learned that she had breast cancer. The Emmy-winning actress says her diagnosis was particularly “surreal” given that she was expected to return to work just hours after that fateful appointment.
Falco was private about both her diagnosis and her treatment, and she did not publicly announce her illness until five months after her recovery. while talking with procession In 2009, nurse jackie The star said she believes she survived in part because she was at her best during the diagnosis. “I was really taking care of myself for 15 years before I got sick – I don’t drink, no [using tobacco]I eat well – so I’ve been doing well. They gave me very strong chemotherapy. I was very fortunate that two of the biggest things in my life – sobriety and breast cancer – happened in the order that they did. “
when MTV Host Tom Green He announced his battle against testicular cancer at the age of 28, and was among the first young celebrities to do so.
In 2000, he transformed a reality medical drama into a stand-up comedy-meets-documentary show called Tom Green Cancer Special. Green explained to Entertainment Weekly How the idea came about: “I was really sorry for myself and sit with me [co-star] Glenn Hemblick And [head writer] Derek HarveyAnd we decided it might be a way to get rid of the dreary party.”
The comedian says that while he set out to host a “weird TV show,” he soon realized that it could make an impact on his viewers. “Suddenly people came to us with sad, tearful, thankful things and handshakes. And we started to realize that maybe that was really good, what we were doing,” he told the outlet.
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Saturday Night Live star Vanessa Bayer She was only 15 years old when she learned that she had leukemia. After undergoing chemotherapy, she eventually went into remission when she entered her final year of high school. “I think having cancer definitely shaped my comedy because I found so many ways and reasons to laugh when I was sick, and it really gave me a stronger comedic perspective,” she said. Cancer management magazine in 2019. “Laughter is very therapeutic… And besides, anyone who has spent a significant amount of time in the hospital knows there is a lot to laugh about.”
her latest project, I love it for youBased on her experience with childhood cancer. “This character had childhood leukemia and I had childhood leukemia,” Beyer said. Entertainment tonight. “I’m going to kind of use the fact that I was sick to get a special treatment and I’m going to take advantage of the cancer benefits,” she said, adding, “I think it would be interesting to do something where I explored that element of he-she.”
At the age of 40, comedian and stand-up actor Tig Notaro He took to the stage at the Largo Comedy Club in Los Angeles. “Good evening, hello. I am sick with cancer, how are you?” I began, to the sound of scattered and uncomfortable laughter. “Guys, it’s all right,” she answered dryly.
The set — so well-received that its recording was nominated for a Grammy Award — details the young comedian’s diagnosis of stage 2 breast cancer, which would require a bilateral mastectomy and hormone therapy.
In 2016, she opened up to NPR about her decision to reveal her diagnosis on stage just one week after receiving it. “I really feel like looking back now because I might have been asking for help on some level, you know? I was really amazed at how many people were impacted and they went up in performance, and it was such a relief after putting such a poor situation out there.”
at the age of 37, Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor The doctor examined a mole under his right eye. “I went to see a specialist who thought it was best to remove them, and he was really right,” my world I mentioned him saying at the time.
The Moulin Rouge The actor seemed unfazed by the experience. He shared that although the mole was cancerous, he felt it “wasn’t a big deal.”
Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 at the age of 40. And the star was not surprised by the news, as her mother testified that she survived the same diagnosis. “I kind of always thought, ‘I’m probably going to have breast cancer,'” Nixon said. There’s a really good chance.” News letters in 2008.
While the actress admitted that she initially felt “scared” upon learning of her condition, she says she was very optimistic about the early time she was discovered. “I was very aware if it was going to happen, that’s the best way for it to happen—that it was caught so early and we could do it right.”
Tariq Al-MousaHGTV star flip or flip And flipping 101survived cancer not once but twice before he reaches the age of forty. He was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer after a viewer of the show alerted him to a suspicious mass in his neck, and later learned that he also had testicular cancer.
“My advice to others is: If you feel something is wrong, talk to as many medical professionals as possible,” he said. Cancer management magazine in 2016. “It’s better to get opinions from five doctors rather than someone who can make a mistake. In the end, you know your body. Trust your gut,” he said.
In 2011, she is 36 years old H! News Host Giuliana Rancic She posted a shocking announcement: She was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Rancic says that although she was a “nervous wreck” about publicizing her battle against cancer, she felt compelled to share her story in order to encourage others to get tested. “I have a lot of young female viewers watching me and I want to help them,” Rancic said. H! News (via People). “I have a great platform to really help people, which is why it was really important to share this story.”
The TV presenter pleads with her viewers to “make that appointment with your doctor, make sure you go to your annual appointment, and figure out how to do a self-examination.” “I think we’ve done a good job of raising breast cancer awareness, but then you have to take awareness and turn it into action,” she adds.
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