These famous women have taken it upon themselves to inspire their kind and fight breast cancer.

Famous women who survived  cancer

Among all types of cancers, breast cancer affects women the most. Almost 26 per 1,00,00 Indian women suffer from breast cancer. It takes a lot of courage, determination and will power to fight this disease.

On this World Cancer Day, here are some famous women who survived breast cancer and became a ray of hope for women across the world:    

Not many know that the legendary Bollywood actress Mumtaz fought breast cancer for a long time. In 2000, Mumtaz was diagnosed with a malignant lump in her breasts. Many chemo sessions later, she finally became cancer-free.


“I don't give up easily. Even death will have to fight me”, she said in an interview. Today, she a beaming lady of 70 years.  

Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue was in the middle of a tour when she was diagnosed with a cancerous lump in her left breast. However, the Australian pop star didn’t give up easily and made a stellar comeback with Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour after being successfully treated.

This experience left a deep impact on Kylie. In her words, “It's hard to express what I've learned from that, but a deep psychological and emotional shift has obviously taken place." Today, she encourages women to get tested for breast cancer and spreads awareness about early detection of the disease. Recognising her work, Anglia Ruskin University, awarded her an honorary Doctor of Health Sciences degree.

Barbara Mori
Known to many as the actress who made her Bollywood debut opposite Hrithik Roshan in the movie Kites, Barbara Mori is also a breast cancer survivor. The Mexican actress was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 29.

Barbara was quoted in 2009 saying that she had been operated upon to remove a breast cancer tumour. Since then, she has been very vocal about breast cancer awareness. She talked about how she survived breast cancer in a documentary called 1-a-minute.

Cynthia Nixon
Popularly known for her character of Miranda Hobbes in Sex and the City, Cynthia Nixon was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 during a routine mammogram. She expressed her relief for being diagnosed at an early stage, “I was very cognizant of if it's going to happen, this is the best way for it to happen, that it's found so early, and we can just get right on it.”

Initially, she was a little hesitant to go public about her battle against breast cancer. However, she realised that all women need to be educated about this condition. Hence, today she is the ambassador of a non-profit breast cancer organisation based in the U.S. called Susan G Komen for the Cure.

Melissa Etheridge
The American singer-songwriter famously performed bald at the 2005 Grammy Awards. The previous year, in October 2004, Melissa was diagnosed with breast cancer. She then underwent surgery and chemotherapy.

Today, she encourages women to take control of their lives, especially their health. In 2009, the Grammy-award winner was quoted saying, "My health is better now than it's ever been. Cancer woke me up."

Christina Applegate
If you ever watched the popular sitcom Friends, you probably remember Christina as Amy Green – Rachel’s (played by Jennifer Aniston) spoilt sister. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, the American actress underwent a double mastectomy – removal of both breasts.

Christina got courage seeing her mother – who battled cancer not once but twice - to fight her battle against breast cancer. Today, she works to spread awareness about cancer through a breast cancer foundation called Right Action for Women.


These women have not only survived breast cancer but are also educating other women about the importance of looking after their health.

How I did it

Rahila Khan

I am a single mother of one. I lost my husband just 5 years into my marriage. Life has been a struggle for me, but I have managed it and today I have no complaints. 

I was a young widow with a 3 year old son when my husband passed away due to a heart attack. My parents were my rock… Read more

Piya Sharma
Chartered Accountant

I am a CA by profession. As my training has taught me, investing is a big part of my financial strategy. I am slightly risk-averse and invest heavily in mutual funds, FDs and ULIPs. I stay away from the stock market. 

As the household expenses are taken care of by my husband, I use most… Read more

Rajesh Singh
Corporate Executive

Growing up I did not have much other than the bare necessities. Though my mom tried her best, she could not fulfil our wishes. I always knew I had to study and improve my life. Today, I own a bike, a car and my own humble house. This has only been possible because of my prudent wife.

We… Read more

Suraj Chandwani
Gas Station Owner

I like to work hard and live a good life. I want to give the best to my wife and son, as well as my parents who live with us. I own a gas station in the suburbs of Mumbai. I had taken a loan to set up my business. So a major chunk of my earnings goes in repaying the loan. I also have a car loan… Read more