One in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. Every year, there are over 250,000 cases of breast cancer diagnosed. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and you might see advocates for the cause hold walks to raise money. You might even notice your favorite sports team wearing pink.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we’re highlighting 4 strong women who have come out as survivors against breast cancer.
There is a great chance that you’ve seen Diahann Carroll in one of her many roles. One of her first major roles was in the TV show “Julia” as the title character. This show was one of the first in its time that didn’t depict a black woman in the stereotypical subservient role. Carroll went on to star in the popular soap opera “Dynasty” rom 1984-1987.
In 1990, Diahann Carroll was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram. On an episode of “Oprah’s Master Class,” she discusses her difficulties with battling breast cancer. Since then she has appeared in the TV show “A Different World,” “Soul Food,” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
In 1998, Hoda Kotb started as a correspondent for “Dateline NBC.” Ten years later, she became a co-anchor for the “Today Show” alongside Kathie Lee Gifford. Shortly before her start as a co-anchor, Kotb had two procedures (mastectomy and reconstructive surgery) to remove the breast cancer.
In 2011, she appeared in Martina McBride’s music video for the single “I’m Gonna Love You Through It.” The song is about a woman who is battling breast cancer with the support of her husband. After her battle with cancer, she wrote the novel Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee. The book went on to become a New York Times Bestseller.
What many do not know about Robin Roberts is that she first got her start on ESPN. From 1990 to 2005, she was a sportscaster before joining “Good Morning America.” In 2007 during a live broadcast of “Good Morning America,” Robin Roberts announced that she had breast cancer and would undergo surgery. She also announced on the show that she would undergo chemotherapy and after 8 weeks, she went through 6 weeks of radiation.
After surviving breast cancer, Roberts received another diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone marrow disease, in 2012. Since then, she has had a bone marrow transplant. In 2013, Robin Roberts received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs.
If you’re ever in need for a good laugh, you can always turn to Wanda Sykes. She got early recognition for working as a writer for “The Chris Rock Show” in the 90s. She appeared in the TV shows “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” She is also known for appearances in the films Monster-in-Law, License to Wed, and two Ice Age films.
In 2011, Sykes revealed a ductal carcinoma in situ diagnosis on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Although this level of breast cancer was non-invasive, Wanda Sykes chose to have a bilateral mastectomy as a precaution.
Although there are medical advances occurring every day, breast cancer is increasingly affecting the population. The best way to fight against it is by catching it in the earliest stages. Be sure to do your own self-exams! If you are of age, make sure you keep up with your annual mammograms.
We all have to come together to Stand Up 2 Cancer this month and every month!