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APR 14th 2014

Celebrities Who Beat Cancer

APR 14th 2014
Celebrities Who Beat Cancer

Who can get cancer? Anybody.

Who can beat cancer? Anybody.

Here are a few celebrities who beat cancer and lived to inspire the rest of us in fighting the disease through their cancer survivor stories.

Judy Blume

judy blume breast cancer

This beloved author taught generations of kids about growing up with young-adult novels like “Superfudge” and “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret.” Then, she showed us all how you can handle an even bigger life challenge.

In June 2012, right before she was supposed to leave for a vacation in Italy, 74-year-old Blume was diagnosed with breast cancer. Instead of visiting castles, she spent the summer undergoing and healing from a mastectomy.

Blume was shocked at her diagnosis. "Wait – me? There’s no breast cancer in my family (recent extensive genetic testing shows no genetic connection). I haven't eaten red meat in more than 30 years,” she told People Magazine. “I've never smoked, I exercise every day, forget alcohol – it's bad for my reflux – I've been the same weight my whole adult life. How is this possible? Well, guess what – it's possible."

Fortunately, the surgery went well – only one night in the hospital, and very little pain. And so far, Blume’s breast cancer hasn’t recurred.

Fast-forward to this year – the best-selling author, whose books have been translated into 31 languages, is looking forward to her stint as the 2014 Honorary Chair of National Library Week (April 13 – 19, 2014).

Lance Armstrong

lance armstrong cancer story

Love him or hate him – the controversial cyclist at the heart of numerous steroids scandalshas left a lasting mark on the world of cancer awareness and recovery.

The story started in 1996, when a 25-year-old Armstrong was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer. The disease was already in its third stage and had spread to Armstrong’s lungs, abdomen and brain. Doctors estimated he had about a 40% chance of survival – and yet, after multiple rounds of surgery and chemotherapy, he made a full recovery and went on to launch the cancer foundation Livestrong.

Unfortunately, he also went on to use illegal performance-enhancing substances during his seven Tour de France championships – ultimately leading to his 2012 resignation from Livestrong’s board of directors.

The good news is that Armstrong really did start something bigger than himself. Livestrong is still helping cancer patients and survivors under current CEO Doug Ulman, and is currently working on a new partnership with the University of Texas at Austin’s new Dell Medical School.

That’s a heck of a story. And let’s not forget, Armstrong started it all by beating testicular cancer.

(Oh, and don’t forget that April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month – the leading cancer in men ages 15 to 35. To read more about testicular cancer statistics, risk factors and prevention tips, click here.)

Dustin Hoffman

dustin hoffman beats cancer

Yes, Dustin Hoffman had cancer. But he kept it very, very quiet. Nobody even knew the Oscar-winning actor and director had been diagnosed until after he completed treatment.

The iconic star of “Tootsie,” “The Graduate” and “Rain Man” released an announcement in August 2013 saying that he’d detected the cancer early and been surgically cured. Like most patients in remission, he’ll continue undergoing preventative treatments in upcoming months.

"Dustin is feeling great and is in good health," his representative said.

What kind of cancer did Hoffman have? Rumors spreadthat it was throat cancer, but no one knows for sure. He’s a private kind of guy.

In a unique twist of events, 75-year-old Hoffman has actually signed to play a role in Stephen Frear’s untitled film about Lance Armstrong, which is currently shooting in Europe. He’s still going strong on all cylinders – acting, directing and accepting well-deserved awards.

We’re just glad he’s feeling better.

Talk to us in the comments! Who are your favorite celebrities who beat cancer? Share your comments with us below.

(Images via Keep Calm-o-Matic, Wikipedia, Sports Illustrated and The Telegraph.)