Update privacy choices

10 Famous Women Who Bravely Underwent Mastectomies


They want other women to know they're not alone.

Angelina Jolie — Fish Eggs
As one of the biggest A-listers in Hollywood, Jolie has likely come across caviar once or twice in her life. Turns out, the actress might be such a fan of the food that he slathers it on her face. After giving birth to her twins, Knox and Vivienne, Jolie began a skin care treatment involving Baeri sturgeon eggs. The fish eggs, which are reared on farms in the south of France, are said to tighten the skin and combat slackness often associated with wrinkles.
Christina Applegate
After being diagnosed with breast cancer at 36 years old in 2008, Christina Applegate first underwent a lumpectomy. Upon learning that she was a carrier of the BRCA1 gene mutation, she removed both her breasts in a double mastectomy. Later, she opened up about the process to Oprah. It can be very painful," she said. "It's also a part of you that's gone, so you go through a grieving process."
Kathy Bates
In 2012, four years after beating her battle with ovarian cancer, Kathy Bates was diagnosed with breast cancer. After undergoing a double mastectomy, the Academy Award winner opened up about why she decisioned to not receive reconstructive surgery. "I've joined the ranks of women who are going flat, as they say," she told WebMD. "I don't have breasts—so why do I have to pretend like I do? That stuff isn't important. I'm just grateful to have been born at a time when the research made it possible for me to survive. I feel so incredibly lucky to be alive."
Wanda Sykes
After being diagnosed with ductal cancer in situ (commonly known as "stage zero" breast cancer) in 2011, Wanda Sykes, who was 47 at the time, opted for a double mastectomy with reconstructive surgery soon after. Though the procedure wasn't necessary, Sykes revealed that she had a long history of breast cancer in her family, and didn't want to live life with the added pressure. "I had both breasts removed, because now I have zero chance of having breast cancer," she told Ellen DeGeneres.
Olivia Newton-John
Shortly after her father died in 1992, Olivia Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer at 44 years old. After undergoing a partial mastectomy and breast construction, the "Grease" actress revealed on the website for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre that she is officially cancer-free. "It's been a long journey, but now I am cancer-free. The whole experience has given me so much understanding and compassion," she wrote.
Rita Wilson
In 2015, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, Rita Wilson underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. In an interview with People, the actress admitted that she had to take a leave of absence from her play, Fish in the Dark, to recover. During her recovery, Wilson also revealed that her husband, Tom Hanks, was by her side. “Last week, with my husband by my side, and with the love and support of family and friends, I underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction for breast cancer after a diagnosis of invasive lobular carcinoma," Wilson said. "I am recovering and most importantly, expected to make a full recovery. Why? Because I caught this early, have excellent doctors and because I got a second opinion.
Sharon Osbourne
At age 60, after discovering that she was at increased risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, Sharon Osbourne underwent a preventative double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery in 2011. She opened up about the decision to Hello! magazine in which revealed that her past with colon cancer played a part in her choice. "As soon as I found out I had the breast cancer gene, I thought, 'The odds are not in my favor,'" she said. "I've had cancer before, and I didn't want to live under that cloud. I decided to just take everything off, and had a double mastectomy."
Giuliana Rancic
Amid her battle with breast cancer at age 37, Giuliana Rancic underwent a double mastectomy in 2011, followed by breast reconstructive surgery. After Jolie's letter, the E! personality opened up about why she went public with her breast cancer battle. "In helping other women, you end up helping yourself," she wrote in an essay for E! Online. "You end up being able to validate one of the most painful times in your life by realizing that maybe all the pain and the fear and the tears were worth it."
Hoda Kotb
After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, Hoda Kotb decided to undergo a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. She later wrote about the process TODAY in which she revealed that the decision gave her a new outlook on life. "A funny thing happened as my body started to heal—my mind did as well," she wrote.. "The world just suddenly snapped into focus. Everything that was important became totally clear...My life after cancer is more courageous and more honest and fuller than my life before."
Sandra Lee
In May 2015, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, celebrity chef Sandra Lee Peoplerevealed that she underwent a double mastectomy. She opened up about her health to in 2016. “I’m getting back to me and it’s a really nice place to be,” she said. “I almost have all my energy back. I’m getting back into my life.”

What to read next