As someone who made her living for many years as the sexy (although ditzy) daughter of Al Bundy on Married With Children, Christina Applegate knew as well as any actress the pressures to look good in Hollywood. Yet when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 she decided rather quickly to have a double mastectomy. Her mother had also suffered from cancer and Christina inherited the BRCA1 mutation. Christina had a tough decision to make, but she rightly put her health above any Hollywood standards regarding her looks. The decision for any celebrity to come out about their cancer is a big one. If they are undergoing treatment the side effects could change their looks to the point that they are unable to hide them.
Since they are always in the spotlight it can be a hard thing to keep private if that is what they wanted to do. If a celebrity is diagnosed with cancer it can have a big effect on their career. Maybe they were being considered for some jobs, but offers stop coming in once people find out they are dealing with cancer. Maybe tours need to be rearranged, dates changed indefinitely or TV shows and movies cancelled all together. On the other hand, celebrities have a platform that most of us don’t. They have access to the media through television, magazines, newspapers, and the Internet. They can use their celebrity to share their story, inspire others and raise awareness. We have also seen huge strides regarding cancer and social media.
Happily Christina Applegate has made a full recovery. She courageously decided to share her story to help other women who think they are too young to start screening for breast cancer. Since she knew it ran in her family Christina started screening with mammograms and then MRI’s when she turned 30. Although cancer was only found in one breast, after undergoing two lumpectomy surgeries, she made the difficult decision to have the double mastectomy. In February of 2011 she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Sadie Grace. At 39 the first-time Mom says she wants more children. She also continues to enjoy a busy and successful career in Hollywood.