20 Celebrity Icons of Breast Cancer

Today, you can click over the story I wrote for Prevention.com. It’s also live on msn.com today. These stars have helped, in a variety of ways, to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research. Why is it important to all of us to follow their lead and raise our voices? Here are some interesting stats from cancer.org

How many women get breast cancer?

The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States are for 2011:

  • About 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women
  • About 57,650 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be found (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • About 39,520 deaths from breast cancer (women)

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.

I have seen a dear friend through breast cancer treatment. My grandmother survived breast cancer. I’ve had many, many friends be diagnosed themselves or see a family member through diagnosis and treatment. So it’s personal—yet even if I didn’t have those personal connections, I would feel connected to this cause. It strikes too many of us, and it hits too close to home. When I hear about someone I don’t know getting diagnosed, I get chills down my spine.

In fact, I woke this morning to the news that E! News correspondent and reality star Giuliana Rancic, who has been very public about her infertility struggles (which probably made countless women enduring the same struggle feel less lonely), has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her public attitude is inspiring—she says she had a mammogram at the behest of her IVF doc, and that after her treatments conclude, she’ll continue to try to conceive a child. “I feel like this baby saved my life,” she said in People.. I send my wish to her—and all the women who received a diagnosis on the same day as Guiliana—for a healthy recovery, and for the space she needs to get mad, sad and frustrated that she got sick at all.

By making her diagnosis public, she follows in the footsteps of other celebrities who have used their platform to raise awareness about the disease. Like them, you should take it personally. I’ve reported on breast cancer for over 15 years. You can see some of the stories if you click on the Healthy Lifestyles tab, above. Read them. Get inspired. Get your physical, get your mammogram, and if you do get sick—get the best care you can.

 

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