When a celebrity makes the news for having breast cancer, awareness of this disease is raised and more women are likely to get screened.
Celebrities with breast cancer or who have survived breast cancer include:
Betty Ford - Betty Ford, former first lady, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1974. Betty Ford had a mastectomy to treat this disease. Betty was one of the first famed women to discuss this type of surgery and place it firmly in the public eye. Ford made a full recovery surviving breast cancer and continues to live a full life. Betty Ford is now in her 90's.
Edie Falco - Sopranos actress Edie Falco was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. Only after receiving treatment did she announce that she had been quietly battling with breast cancer for some time.
Melissa Etheridge - Musician Melissa Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2004 and has survived this disease. Melissa emphasized the role nutrition has on healing the body and how eating healthily can improve prognosis. Melissa's website includes a dedicated breast cancer awareness page.
Gloria Steinem - Gloria Steinem, feminist, activist and co founder of Ms. Magazine was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1986 following the discovery of a cancerous lump.
Kate Jackson - Actress and personality, Kate Jackson, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987. Kate played one of the Charlie's Angels in this hit 1970s TV series.
Rue McClanahan - following the discovery of a pea sized lump in 1987, Golden Girl Rue McClanahan is now a breast cancer survivor and activist.
Sheryl Crow - singer and songwriter Sheryl Crow was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and has since survived this disease.
Suzanne Somers - Suzanne Somers interview with Larry King Live raised awareness of breast cancer when she announced that she was diagnosed and had been battling with this disease since 2001. Suzanne Somers is a famed actress, author and businesswoman.
Diahann Carroll - award winning actress and songstress, Diahann Carroll was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988. She used her fame and celebrity status to raise awareness of breast cancer by allowing a camera crew to film her undergoing treatment.
Nancy Reagan - Husband of former US president Ronald Reagan, Nancy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987. The diagnosis followed a routine breast screening using a mammogram and highlights the effectiveness of this diagnostic tool. Following a mastectomy in which her left breast was removed she survived the breast cancer. National coverage of this event led many women across the US to have mammograms.
Marianne Faithfull - In 2006, UK singer, songwriter, actress and ex partner of singer and celebrity Mick Jagger was diagnosed with breast cancer. Treatment in the form of surgery followed one month later and was successful – the cancer had been detected and treated at an early stage and Marianne survived this disease.
Kylie Minogue - famed international pop star and celeb Kylie Minogue OBE is another breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005.
Hot shot Kylie underwent surgery and then chemotherapy to fight the breast cancer and has since made a full recovery. She likened the episode to being hit by a nuclear bomb.
Carly Simon - Famed singer and celebrity Carly Simon has battled with breast cancer. Following a mastectomy in 1997 she has made a full recovery.