10 Celebrity Cancer Survivors Who Have Inspired Others

There can be no question that cancer is blight on the world; every year it takes the lives of huge numbers of people across the globe. It has no prejudice, striking down young and old, black and white, rich and poor alike. As such, it also strikes our cherished celebrities taking their lives in equal numbers.

But, also, as with all cases of cancer, many Celebs get through their ordeal and come back as strong as ever. The only real different with celebrities that win their fight and survive cancer is that they can be seen back in the public eye and are a clear inspiration to other people who are suffering to not give up hope and fight back and hopefully win the battle against these various forms of cancer.

Here are just Ten of the many celebrity cancer survivors who are showing that it is possible to win the cancer fight.

1. Kylie Minogue

kylie minogue

( photo by niceguycomefirst )

Kylie Minogue, the famous Australian starlet, who is known for her sexy music videos and sultry voice especially in the world wide smash “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” also had a bout with breast cancer in 2005.

She is now currently in remission and in the past year has published a children’s book and returned to both the concert and Broadway stage.

Throughout her battle she remained strong, publicly stating that with the aid of friends and family she was determined to beat breast cancer and pick up her life where she left off before her diagnosis, it is said that untold numbers of young women were saved by early detection as a direct result of the publicity around her story.

2. Steve Jobs

steve jobs

( photo by TechShowNetwork )

Steve Jobs, a celebrity due to his status as co-founder of Apple, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004. Although he is most recognizable for the Apple brand, Jobs also is a member of the Board of Directors of Walt Disney and was CEO of Pixar Animation until Disney acquired the stock.

Despite the fact that pancreatic cancer is normally inoperable, Jobs is now in remission after undergoing a radical new procedure in which part of the pancreas is removed [Pancreatic cancer treatment].

Although there has been speculation about his health, Apple reports Jobs still contributes heavily to decisions and is in remission from cancer.

3. Lance Armstrong

lance armstrong

( photo by LENSOVERTURE )

Lance Armstrong is well known for his battle with testicular cancer in 1996 and was given a 2% chance of surviving the cancer. This is because it had spread to his brain, lungs, and abdomen.

Not only did Armstrong beat the odds and successfully enter remission but he also won the Tour de France not once, but, seven times since having a 98% chance of succumbing to cancer. [Testicular cancer cure]

Although he retired in 2005 from competitive bicycling it seems he cannot keep away as he returned to the sport in January of 2009.

4. Nelson Mandela

nelson mandela1

( photo by PHILIP SCHEDLER )

Political figure Nelson Mandela was also diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001 after being released from prison and ending the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

At this point he retired from the public eye and entered radiation for his cancer which was successful as he has now been in remission since 2004 [Radiation treatment].

Mandela is enjoying his peaceful life with family and can credit a Noble Peace Prize to the list of accolades he has received.

5. Fran Drescher

fran drescher

( photo by linhngo )

Fran Drescher, known for her nasal vocal qualities in many movies and starring as TV’s The Nanny, had to put her life on hold when she was diagnosed with stage 1 uterine cancer in June of 2000.

Although it was misdiagnosed for about two years, when it was discovered, fortunately, it was still in stage 1, allowing her to undergo a radical hysterectomy procedure and now lives her life without cancer in the background. Fran spoke out about her battle in a book title Cancer Schmancer.

6. Gene Wilder

gene wilder

( photo by Caroline Bonarde )

Gene Wilder, who most people know fondly as Willy Wonka from the Chocolate Factory movie, was diagnosed with lymphoma, (non-Hodgkins) in 1999 but was able to beat the strain and has been in remission and living a private life since 2000.

His wife Gilda Radner passed away from ovarian cancer [signs of ovarian cancer] and he has been a vocal advocate of cancer charities since his recovery. Also, since he went into remission for his cancer he has published several books including the 2007 release My French Whore and in 2008 The Women Who Wouldn’t.

7. Kathy Bates

kathy bates

( photo by PM Il Piccolo Missionario )

Actress Kathy Bates, who is best known for her work in Misery for which she won an Academy Award, has waged a private battle with ovarian cancer in 2003 but since it leaked to the press she has announced that she was able to make a full recovery and is now more than five years into remission.

Bates continues to pop up in movies as the overbearing adorable characters she is known for; with appearances recently in films such as PS I Love You, Bee Movie, and The Family That Preys.

8. Suzanne Somers

Suzanne Somers

( photo by Marzal )

Suzanne Somers, known as the endless beauty and author of several self-help books as well as the sexy step mother in Step by Step in the early nineties, battled breast cancer in 2001.

Unlike most people she choose to receive surgery and radiation treatment but bypassed chemotherapy for alternative cancer treatment that included mistletoe injections.

Since then she has been an avid supporter of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and also penned a bestselling novel on the topic entitled Ageless.

9. Olivia Newton John

olivia newton john

( photo by Moment By Moser *Bev  Moser )

Most people recognize Olivia Newton John as Sandy in Grease or for her hit single Let’s Get Physical, but John now spends her time campaigning and raising awareness of breast cancer.

In 1992 she was diagnosed with the disease at a time when the subject was still taboo in pop music culture. Since then she has literally changed her tune releasing music to uplift women’s spirits and donating a generous portion or proceeds to breast cancer foundations.

John continues to raise cancer awareness and release albums and recently was seen on stage at Sound Relief in aid of the Victoria brush fire victims in Australia.

10. Christina Applegate

christina applegate

( photo by indoloony )

The most recent celebrity to be profiled publicly for her bout of cancer, Christina Applegate, known for her role in Married with Children and in a rash of movies, was diagnosed with cancer in August of 2008.

Although the cancer was caught early and only in one breast she found that she carries the gene mutation that would cause the cancer to arise again and elected to have a double mastectomy.

She is now cancer free and undergoing reconstructive surgery. The recent 2009 People magazine voted her the most Beautiful Person of the Year and the production of her new Television sitcom “Samantha Who?” has continued production as usual.

Posted in: Cancer InfoFeatures

RSSComments (9)

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  1. Physician says:

    All cancer survivors are inspirational

  2. h says:

    I stumbled upon your blog by accident. Pretty informative post. Outstanding, Jordan Holoff @ H

  3. Having a wonderful Aunt I adore down with breast cancer, remembering the way her life changed all of a sudden as she lost a breast and the other one is under intense health care, I really appreciate what these great people with a big heart are doing…I will be sending her the url to this blog. She will glitter and love it…excellent work.

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  6. stage 4 cancer says:

    Steve Jobs is hero for me.

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  9. Incredibly informative post. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with us.