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National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: 17 Celebs Who Fought & Won Their Cancer Battle

This month is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month- a time that is “dedicated to raising awareness and educating individuals about breast cancer,” a very noble and worthy cause. Especially when breast cancer is waging such a war upon women (and men) everywhere. Some figures to be aware of (courtesy of BreastCancer.org)

  • About 1 in 8 U.S. women (just under 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
  • In 2011, an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 57,650 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
  • About 39,520 women in the U.S. were expected to die in 2011 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1990 — especially in women under 50. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.

And increased awareness is what this month is all about. One thing that is helping with getting the word out about breast cancer are all the celebrities that have not just gone public with their very personal battle and have done so with dignity and grace. Plus the 17 strong women we have profiled here, they all fought cancer and won. They are survivors and reminders that all women need to have routine and regular screenings. The life you save by doing so could be your own. Check out these women who survived breast cancer right here:

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  • Christina Applegate 1 of 17
    Christina Applegate
    After discovering that she had breast cancer in 2008, Christina Applegate voluntarily had a double mastectomy. She told People, "I've had to talk about that word [cancer] more than I've ever had to talk about a word in my life... After a while you're like, 'There's got to be something else to me.'" There sure was: she founded Right Action which helps educate women, assists with finding screenings and helping with medical costs.
    Source: Do Something.org
  • Sheryl Crow 2 of 17
    Sheryl Crow
    Sheryl Crow was very public about her battle against breast cancer in 2006. "I am inspired by the brave women who have faced this battle before me and grateful for the support of family and friends," she said in a statement. "I am joining the more than 200,000 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year... I am inspired by the brave women who have faced this battle before me and grateful for the support of family and friends." Now she, in turn, is a inspiration to countless amount of women.
    Source: CNN
  • Olivia Newton John 3 of 17
    Olivia Newton John
    Olivia Newton John followed her instincts — and it saved her life. "I was diagnosed in 1992 after a self examination, which led me to my doctor for further testing. I wasn't feeling right, and I had found lumps before, but this time, it just felt different," she revealed in an interview. It's because of this that she's a strong supporter of monthly breast self-exams.
    Source: Everyday Health
  • Giuliana Rancic 4 of 17
    Giuliana Rancic
    While going to see doctors about her issues with fertility, Giuliana discovered that she had breast cancer. She opted to have a double mastectomy,""At first the word 'mastectomy' seemed so scary to me, but after doing the research and seeing the advancements, the surgery has come a long way in the past 20 years. The results can be incredible," she said. Today, she finally has the family she has wanted. She and husband Bill Rancic welcomed a baby boy with the help of a surrogate.
    Source: Shape
  • Melissa Etheridge 5 of 17
    Melissa Etheridge
    Melissa Etheridge described cancer treatments as "hell," but saw a positive side. "It was very hard. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Chemotherapy tests your sanity. Yet there is an amazing clarity to it that I'm grateful for," she said on Dateline.
    Source: Dateline
  • Wanda Sykes 6 of 17
    Wanda Sykes
    Wanda Sykes' breast cancer was discovered when she went in for a breast reduction. "Cancer is cancer. 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." Because of a history of breast cancer in her family, Sykes opted to have a double masectomy.
    Source: People
  • Edie Falco 7 of 17
    Edie Falco
    After her breast cancer was discovered, Edie said, "I thought: I am a strong woman. I have resources to get good treatment, so why not me? Perhaps, better me than some single mother of three kids who is working three jobs. I know I can handle this."
    Source: Health.com
  • Ann Romney 8 of 17
    Ann Romney
    Ann Romney was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2009 and has been in remission ever since. She recently said, "Routine check-ups are the key to early detection. I had my check-up yesterday, and am celebrating three years of being cancer-free."
    Source: The Hill
  • Suzanne Somers 9 of 17
    Suzanne Somers
    Suzanne Somers had gone the traditional route to deal with her cancer, with surgery and radiation. But she said no to chemotherapy and instead used a drug made from mistletoe extract. She went on to write a book about her experience called Knockout.
    Source: New York Times
  • Jane Fonda 10 of 17
    Jane Fonda
    At the age of 75, actress, activist and fitness guru Jane Fonda was diagnosed with breast cancer. The lump was discovered during a routine exam, was removed and now she is 100% cancer-free. Yet again why being routinely checked can mean life or death.
    Source: CBS News
  • Cynthia Nixon 11 of 17
    Cynthia Nixon
    Cynthia Nixon had kept her cancer a secret for two whole years before she felt ready to tell her story. Back in 2006, a cancerous tumor was found in her right breast during a routine mammogram. She underwent treatment and won the cancer battle. Her mother is also a breast cancer survivor.
    Source: Shape
  • Jaclyn Smith 12 of 17
    Jaclyn Smith
    Charlie's Angels star Jaclyn Smith said of her breast cancer discovery: "I went in for my yearly mammogram, thinking everything was going to be fine. I didn't feel a lump. They saw something suspicious, but said it didn't look like cancer. Then the biopsy results came back and they said, "Well, it's breast cancer." She underwent treatment and was declared cancer-free. Since then, she's started the organization Strength in Knowing to help women with breast cancer.
    Source: Women's Day
  • Kate Jackson 13 of 17
    Kate Jackson
    Another Angel was hit by breast cancer as well — Jaclyn Smith's costar Kate Jackson. "I was forced to face, squared up, my own mortality," said Jackson. "I had to decide whether I wanted to live or to die. And if you choose life, as I did, it's never the same."
    Source: People
  • Betsey Johnson 14 of 17
    Betsey Johnson
    Quirky fashion designer Betsey Johnson fought breast cancer and won the battle. She said of the ordeal, "All I wanted to do was talk about it," she told People. "[But] I was too scared to talk about it until I was clear of radiation." Now she's speaking out and doing fundraising for breast cancer charities.
    Source: People
  • Dame Maggie Smith 15 of 17
    Dame Maggie Smith
    Dame Maggie Smith, who is currently starring in the hit Downton Abbey, has lived drama on screen and off. One of her big life events was when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age 74 — while she was filming the last Harry Potter movie. But after chemotherapy, she had a clean bill of health. She said of getting cancer at her age, "I think it's the age I was when it happened. It knocks you sideways," she said. "It takes you longer to recover, you are not so resilient. I am fearful of the amount of energy one needs to be in a film or a play."
    Source: Telegraph
  • Carly Simon 16 of 17
    Carly Simon
    Carly Simon was faced with a hard time with her cancer battle.
    "There's a bigger story about the breast cancer than the cancer. It's about relationships… I wasn't treated well," she said. "I think I was let go of certain jobs and affiliations." She added, "It was very confusing but everything was smoothed over because people are smart and don't want you to be hurt. People were saying it's got nothing to do with that. It is hard to disregard."
    Source: Digital Spy
  • Jennifer Saunders 17 of 17
    Jennifer Saunders
    The Absolutely Fabulous star was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. She underwent chemo and she said that her breast cancer brought on depression and menopause. "You just grit your teeth and bear it. It becomes your job and your job is now getting through this next year of whatever," she said. But she is now cancer-free and has found a happier place.
    Source: Mirror
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Read more Sunny Chanel on Famecrawler right here.
Read more Sunny Chanel on Strollerderby right here.


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