18 Celebrities Who Beat Cancer

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Last updated on July 31st, 2023 at 03:46 pm

From stomach cancer to cervical cancer, from ovarian cancer to uterine cancer, as country superstar Martina McBride said in her 2011 hit “I’m Gonna Love You Through It,” “Cancer don’t discriminate.” As a result, plenty of celebrities have been “chosen” to battle the disease. Thankfully, many have come out victorious.

Here are 18 celebrities who beat cancer.

1. Sheryl Crow

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If there’s any cancer diagnosis a woman is most concerned about its breast cancer, and “The First Cut is the Deepest” singer Sheryl Crow was one of them in 2006. Thankfully, her diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) was non-invasive, and following a lumpectomy and seven weeks of radiation therapy, she was good to go. Four years later, she and her surgeon, Kristi Funk, partnered to open the Sheryl Crow Imaging Center for breast cancer screenings and mammograms at Funk’s Pink Lotus Breast Center.

Related: Sheryl Crow’s Net Worth: Her Career as Best in the Business

2. Robin Roberts

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Robin Roberts is another female celebrity who underwent treatment for breast cancer, having been diagnosed in 2007. Following surgery and eight rounds of chemotherapy, it seemed all was well, but in 2012, she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a cancerous disease in the bone marrow. Once again, surgery saved her life when she underwent a bone marrow transplant.

Related: 15 Musicians Diagnosed with Cancer

3. Sharon Osbourne

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Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Osbourne at Spike TV’s 4th Annual “Guys Choice Awards,” Sony Studios, Culver City, CA. 06-05-10. Image from Shutterstock.

When Sharon Osbourne was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2002, the odds were against her when surgery revealed that it had spread to her lymph nodes. She let viewers of The Osbournes get a firsthand look at her journey that had only a 33 percent survival prognosis, but she eventually came out victorious. Following her recovery, she founded the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program at Cedars Sinai Hospital and supported fighting against other cancers, including multiple myeloma and breast cancer.

Related: 11 Ozzy Osbourne Facts: Height, Tattoos, and Why He Bit Off a Dove’s Head

4. Fran Drescher

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Fran Drescher knows what it’s like to suffer. It took two years of experiencing symptoms and eight doctors misdiagnosing her before she discovered she had uterine cancer in June of 2000. Because of the advanced stage, she underwent a radical hysterectomy, but thankfully the surgery was all that was needed to earn a clean bill of health.

5. Peter Criss

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Peter Criss, co-founder and original drummer of the famous rock band KISS, found himself battling breast cancer in 2008. Thankfully, all it took was a lumpectomy, and he was able to rock again, earning his place on the list of celebrities who beat cancer.

Related: 18 Wild and Shocking Facts About the Rock Band KISS

6. Hugh Jackman

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Known for his roles in hit musicals such as Les Miserables and The Greatest Showman, in addition to his many big time movie roles, Hugh Jackman is yet another who has been affected by cancer. He has undergone six removals of basal cell carcinomas on his nose. Because these milder forms of malignant skin cancer are often caused by extensive sun exposure, Jackman has stressed the importance of wearing sunscreen to protect oneself outdoors in warm weather.

7. Mark Hoppus

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Blink 182 bassist Mark Hoppus’ battle with cancer was supposed to be a secret. It was only revealed to the world when he mistakenly shared a picture of his chemo treatment on his public Instagram story. He later announced that he was fighting stage IV diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. To the relief of fans, he announced his cancer-free status on Sept. 29, 2021.

Related: Blink 182 Facts: Break Ups, Reunion, Tour, and More

8. Nile Rodgers

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Nile Rodgers was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer in October 2010 and did not go into remission until 2013. In 2017, he was diagnosed with two cancers in one large mass on his right kidney. Thankfully, it was surgically removed, and he announced he was cancer-free on July 4, 2019, during his performance at the Hollywood Bowl.

9. Kylie Minogue

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Australian singer Kylie Minogue was 36 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2005. She received overwhelming support from the Australian prime minister and fans throughout her treatment. What followed was surgery and several months of continual chemotherapy, which she described as being “like experiencing a nuclear bomb.” Thankfully, she eventually beat the disease and has been called “inspirational” for her story.

Related: The 15 Best Australian Singers of All Time, From Country Legends to Rap Stars

10. Sharon Jones

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Soul and funk singer Sharon Jones’ cancer battle began in 2013 when it was announced that she had been diagnosed with bile duct cancer, which was later changed to stage II pancreatic cancer. Of all on our list of celebrities who beat cancer, she didn’t let her diagnosis stop her from performing for her fans, often stepping on stage bald once she started losing her hair. Following surgery and chemotherapy, she went into remission, and even though she had a recurrence in 2015, she still battled it off with more chemotherapy. In a heartbreaking twist, however, she died in November 2016 of a dual stroke.

11. Randy Owen

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Imagine “How long do I have?” being the first thing that comes to mind when you get a cancer diagnosis. It was the reality for Alabama frontman Randy Owen when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010. After receiving successful treatment in Mexico, Owen remains cancer-free and can still play that great old “Mountain Music.”

Related: 13 Best Alabama Songs that Defined 80s and 90s Country Music

12. Kathy Bates

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Kathy Bates has had a long battle with more than one type of cancer, starting in 2003 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Nine years later, she announced her breast cancer diagnosis via Twitter, for which she had a double mastectomy. Unfortunately, that mastectomy led to lymphedema in both arms. However, she hasn’t let any of it get her down, as she has become a national spokesperson for the disease.

13. Ben Stiller

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No matter how short the battle is, it is no less a victory. Night at the Museum actor Ben Stiller was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2014. He was determined to be cancer free just a few months later, in September 2014, after undergoing surgery to remove his prostate.

14. Rod Stewart

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When you’re a singer, anything that might affect your vocals is scary, so it was probably extra frightening for Rod Stewart to be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2000. Although he had to relearn how to sing, the cancer treatment surgery was successful. He went through another scare in 2017, when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, but received the all-clear in September 2019. Like many celebrities who beat cancer, Stewart continually supports efforts to find cures for cancer by raising money for The City of Hope Foundation.

Related: Rod Stewart Brings the Hits [Photo Gallery]

15. Suzanne Somers

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Actress and singer Suzanne Somers’ journey with cancer is one of the more unique ones on our list of celebrities who beat cancer, proving a whole host of treatment options are available. Although she did undergo a lumpectomy and radiation to treat stage II breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2000, she also opted to try Iscador, a fermented mistletoe extract, instead of chemotherapy. It must have worked because she remains in the club of cancer survivorship.  

Related: What Disease Does Suzanne Somers Have? Her Crazy Cancer Journey

16. Lance Armstrong

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Former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong had a battle with testicular cancer back in 1996. After successful treatments, he returned to the sport, winning the Tour de France seven times in a row (1999-2005), though not without controversy for steroid use.

17. Michael Douglas

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Michael Douglas’s story is one of the most magnificent of all the celebrities who beat cancer mentioned on our list. By the time he was diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2010, it had already progressed to stage IV because several doctors had failed to diagnose it. With chemo and radiation, he is now officially cancer free, and we couldn’t be happier.

18. Wanda Sykes

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Wanda Sykes knows how to bring the laughs, but it was no laughing matter when she was diagnosed with the same form of breast cancer as Sheryl Crow, DCIS. She didn’t mess around after the diagnosis, either. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy to ensure she had a lower chance of developing a more invasive form of the disease.

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Written by Katie Peterson

Katie Peterson received her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth in 2015. She has worked in journalism since 2015, beginning as production assistant and eventual head staff writer of the Fort Leavenworth Lamp newspaper in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Currently, she is a multimedia journalist with the Diocese of Nashville's Office of Media and Evangelization where she writes, does photography, and edits for several types of content, including the Tennessee Register, Catholic Awakenings, and She has also worked as a freelance journalist with the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas's newspaper, The Leaven, since 2016.
In her spare time, Peterson enjoys reading, spending time with her pup, Sadie Lynn, singing and songwriting.


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