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Celebrities and Breast Cancer

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  • janeqpoppy
    janeqpoppy Member Posts: 28
    edited September 2019
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    I just came across this FWIW. Don't know what to make of it.

    Here's what you need to know:

    Roberts Had Breast Cancer But Her Cause of Death Is Not Clear

    Cokie Roberts

    ABC News did not immediately release Cokie Roberts' cause of death. However, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 and "successfully treated," the network reported, becoming an advocate for regular mammograms for women.

    She had acknowledged some health problems recently, ABC reported, saying: "Over the summer, I have had some health issues which required treatment that caused weight loss. I am doing fine. I very much appreciate the kind comments I have received and expect to be, as I have been, working away in the days and months to come, covering what promises to be a fascinating election. I am grateful to everyone who has been in touch and sent their well wishes. Thanks for caring."

    Link

  • Yogatyme
    Yogatyme Member Posts: 1,793
    edited September 2019
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    So, so sad!! What a great journalist. One of the things that I have taken from this is: she had 17 years post diagnosis. It certainly raised my alarms but also gave me some peace.....if I get 17 more years I’ll be close to the end of my life regardless, so....

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,106
    edited September 2019
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    I'm sorry to read the news of Cokie Roberts' passing. She was a trusted journalist.

    When it comes to the reporting of celebrity breast cancer, you will find the media will report very little or none of the clinical diagnosis. Sometimes the celeb will write a book and you get more info. But for the most part, news outlets will not say, “er positive" “triple negative" “triple positive". They will not say if its invasive ductal or invasive lobular. It's irritating because eliminating any details makes the unknowing public think breast cancer is one disease. A celebrity who's dealt with bc will go on a talk show and just say, I had breast cancer.

    I'm not sure why the big conspiracy to cover this up, but I do believe there is some strange reason in doing so. Just like the news release for Cokie Roberts which says, the family says she died of complications from breast cancer. Very vague.



  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,363
    edited September 2019
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    divinemrsm, I know the details are almost never there. Mary Nam, of komotv news gave us a little more info. She is just 41 years old and is recovering from a mastectomy August 2019. She had 5 small ILC tumors. She didn't give her er pr or her2 status but she said she doesn't need chemo or radiation. I bet she had an oncodx test and that she is atleast er+. I have invited her to join BCO, she did say her breast tissue was extremely dense and they found these on her 1st mammogram 3d mammogram.

  • lexica
    lexica Member Posts: 138
    edited September 2019
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    What about Julia Louis-Dreyfus? I haven't heard any news about her since her initial diagnosis.

  • lexica
    lexica Member Posts: 138
    edited September 2019
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    Can we call Sarah Thomas a celebrity, too? Awesome accomplishment!!

    https://www.npr.org/2019/09/17/761511898/american-...

  • janeqpoppy
    janeqpoppy Member Posts: 28
    edited September 2019
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    DivineMrsM wrote: ...When it comes to the reporting of celebrity breast cancer, you will find the media will report very little or none of the clinical diagnosis. Sometimes the celeb will write a book and you get more info. But for the most part, news outlets will not say, "er positive" "triple negative" "triple positive". They will not say if its invasive ductal or invasive lobular. It's irritating because eliminating any details makes the unknowing public think breast cancer is one disease. A celebrity who's dealt with bc will go on a talk show and just say, I had breast cancer.

    I'm not sure why the big conspiracy to cover this up, but I do believe there is some strange reason in doing so. Just like the news release for Cokie Roberts which says, the family says she died of complications from breast cancer. Very vague.

    I don't see it as a cover-up as much as journalistic recognition of the fact that most people aren't into details about stuff that doesn't directly involve them. WE care because it's us and we know what those terms mean. I agree with you that it contributes to the misconception that breast cancer, or in fact cancer in general, is just one disease.

    I'd really like to know the details of what happened to Cokie. Maybe something will come out soon in the medical press if not in the popular press.

    I was so shocked when I read this. She was only four years older than I am.

  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,363
    edited September 2019
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    It is scary, she probably had the very best of care too.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,106
    edited September 2019
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    Jane, imo, I see it as making breast cancer palatable for the masses, the same way the pink ribbon is often used to make a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment pretty and happy and not ugly and scary. Palatable and dumbing the news down. The news will go into all kinds of gory details on the murders a sadistic serial killer commits because that reels the viewers in. Get into any celebrity breast cancer details and I guess people start to yawn.



  • janeqpoppy
    janeqpoppy Member Posts: 28
    edited September 2019
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    MrsM, I agree that it is part of the universal dumbing down of news and frankly, most public discourse.

    Scared

  • NoBasketball
    NoBasketball Member Posts: 1
    edited September 2019
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    This morning when I heard about Cokie Roberts, I knew many of us who have been treated for bc would be negatively affected by the unpredictability of this disease. I know I was. We do not know if her original bc recurred or if she had another diagnosis, like I believe Olivia Newton-John did. I too wish more specifics were put out there but we need to remember that we are all different, from the specifics of our bc to our lifestyles. Still, a real bummer to hear.

  • 2019whatayear
    2019whatayear Member Posts: 468
    edited September 2019
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    like all of you here I too was bummed the report says complications from BC - like what does that mean. However - she is a person who has a family mourning and it’s none of our ( our being the general public) business. It’s not a conspiracy that details of a diagnosis or treatment aren’t shared in the media- it’s a person deciding what they want to share and what they want to keep priv

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,106
    edited September 2019
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    2019, yes, I get what you’re saying, that above all else, Cokie was someone’s wife, mother, friend, loved one, Her family and loved ones are grieving. It’s probably easiest on the family to make a simple statement about her passing, and it’s not the time to get into personal details. For such an accomplished woman, she doesn’t want to be framed only as a woman who died from bc complications, And in fact, one well-done news clip I saw this evening that memorialized her made no mention at all of the bc.

    Other celebrities are more forthcoming with their metastases, like Olivia Newton John. But then, her celebrity status comes from different accomplishments than Cokie; she has a different platform and has done so much in the name of bc such as building cancer centers.



  • tb90
    tb90 Member Posts: 281
    edited September 2019
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    I do not understand the need to know about the specifics of their illness. There are thousands of women on BCO with every variation of the disease and the most up to date information available. Their illnesses reflect ours. Their grief matches ours. And the loss their families feel is the same

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited September 2019
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    I liked Cokie Roberts. It is sad. I think some of us want to know the gory details because we have BC and fear those complications from the disease.

    It is epidemic. I just lost my only sister to BC. She was DX in 2012 and it came back 3 times. The last time it went to her kidneys and liver. Very aggressive cancer. Chemo didn’t work. She suffered so. It’s heartbreaking for our family. She got a second opinion but it didn’t change the outcome unfortunately.

    So she had “complications”. The oncologist delivered the horrific news with the family in the room that there was nothing else they could do.

    She was a wonderful, independent and loving sister. She and my BIL would have been married 40 years next month.

    Mortality has slapped us in the face. It just doesn’t sound like they are making headway in “curing” this insidious disease.

    Diane

  • 2019whatayear
    2019whatayear Member Posts: 468
    edited September 2019
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    Diane thanks for sharing about your sister. hugs.


    Someone up thread was asking about Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I didn't have time to read this article but in it she discusses her cancer for anyone who was wondering: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/12/17/julia-louis-dreyfus-acts-out

    TL:DR? She found a lump, radiologist said it didn't look good. Lumpectomy 6 rounds of chemo - lots of side effects.

  • janeqpoppy
    janeqpoppy Member Posts: 28
    edited September 2019
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    10 hours ago TB90 wrote:

    I do not understand the need to know about the specifics of their illness. There are thousands of women on BCO with every variation of the disease and the most up to date information available. Their illnesses reflect ours. Their grief matches ours. And the loss their families feel is the same

    One of the reason "thousands of women" come to BCO is to see if the details of other stories are anything like theirs. Isn't that why you're here? I want to know more details on Cokie's story because hers sounds a bit like mine.

  • tb90
    tb90 Member Posts: 281
    edited September 2019
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    Yes, we are all here to learn and share our experiences so others may learn from us. I feel there are already way too many wonderful women and men on BCO from us to learn from.

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
    beesie.is.out-of-office Member Posts: 1,435
    edited September 2019
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    Jane, I see it very differently. What I've learned from being on this site is that nobody's experience with breast cancer is the same as mine and that I should never take what happened to someone else to be an indication of what might happen to me.

    Everyone's experience is different. Even when the diagnostic process appears to be the same, there are differences in how the screening or biopsies are done, how we are informed, how much information we receive and from whom, the timing of the tests and surgeries, etc.. Even when the diagnosis appears to be the same, there are differences - two seemingly identical cancers might have very different Oncotype scores and prognoses. Even when the treatment is the same, there are differences in how our bodies, and minds, react. Even when our prognosis and risks appear to be the same, they are not, because we are all unique individuals with our own biology and our own lifestyle. The fact that someone with a diagnosis identical to mine had a metastatic recurrence does not mean that I will have one.

    What I have learned is that I should never use my case as an example for someone else who appears to have a very similar diagnosis. I might share the details of my experience - that can always be helpful - but I try to always say that my experience is mine alone, and there are others here who've had a very different experience. To me, one of the advantages of this board and the fact that there are so many posters here, is that readers are not limited to seeing only one person's experience.

    I respect Cokie Robert's family's privacy. That said, of course I am curious to know more about what happened. I want to know because as someone with breast cancer, I can identify with her situation, and I feel for her having gone through this. Then again, if she had died from heart failure, I would be curious to understand more about the progression of her disease and how she dealt with it. I am interested in what happened to her because she is someone I have admired for decades. I don't see what happened to her to have any bearing on what might happen to me.

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,945
    edited September 2019
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    What we choose to share here is voluntary. Just think of how many BC patients there are who DON'T come here to give the details of their diagnoses and care. And those who want to keep any aspect of it private certainly have that right.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,106
    edited September 2019
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    Celebrities seek the public limelight when it serves them. Princess Dianna secretly tipped off the press when she visited children's' hospital wards late in the night; tho she acted like she wanted privacy, she really wanted to be photographed as a quiet do-gooder.

    Celebrities splash rooms of their palatial homes in Architectural Digest. A place where you live is pretty personal I think.

    I've read hundreds of autobiographies.Women celebrities discuss how many sex partners they've had, discuss oral sex they've given and some reveal they've had an abortion: Sally Fields, Katy Sagal, Ashley Judd, Alyssa Milano to name a few. Celebrities discuss their addictions and ensuing horrific behavior like driving with their young children in the car while high—that would be former Boston Celtics basketball player Chris Herron.

    It's human nature to want details of the lives of the rich/famous/talented/skilled, especially if you deal with the same issues/illness/addiction as that celebrity. Autobiographies and biographies are bestsellers for that reason.

  • Belinda977
    Belinda977 Member Posts: 150
    edited September 2019
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    Suzanne Whang from House Hunters dies of Breast Cancer Sad


    https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/20/entertainment/suzanne-whang-obit/index.html



  • april1964
    april1964 Member Posts: 153
    edited October 2019
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    Diahann Carroll


  • april485
    april485 Member Posts: 1,983
    edited October 2019
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    They aren't famous but they are sisters...also, it is not the kind that is familial which makes it even more strange.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/health-news/breast-cancer-strikes-sisters-29-and-31-both-prepare-for-double-mastectomies/ar-AAJl8El?li=BBnba9O&ocid=st

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
    beesie.is.out-of-office Member Posts: 1,435
    edited October 2019
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    The sisters may not have been tested for the entire panel of breast cancer genes, or they could have a gene that hasn't yet been discovered. There are lots of women on this site who have lots of breast cancer in their immediate families - mothers, sisters, daughters - and yet they all test negative for the known genes.

    Or both sisters may have been exposed to the same carcinogen as children.

    Or it could be a fluke, but to be diagnosed at the ages of 29 and 31, that's less likely.

  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 1,053
    edited October 2019
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    Well, men with this disease have another famous person diagnosed in Mathew Knowles, father, and former manager of Beyoncé. He’s also BRCA2, which has implications for his family.

    The news has been widespread and much commented on in Pinktober. As bad as the news is for Mathew, it's been a huge boost for male bc awareness as he has declared his intention to use his diagnosis to promote the fact that men get breast cancer too.

    The story is here:

    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/02/entertainment/beyonce-father-mathew-knowles-breast-cancer/index.html


  • Mominator
    Mominator Member Posts: 1,173
    edited October 2019
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    Thanks for the link, Traveltext.

    I hope the news helps break the illusion that breast cancer is a woman’s disease and more men learn the tools they need for early detection and treatment.

  • tmh0921
    tmh0921 Member Posts: 518
    edited November 2019
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    Shirley Timple

    Rue McClanahan (Golden Girls)

    Peter Criss (Drummer for Kiss)

    Shannen Doherty (Beverly Hills 90210)

  • lexica
    lexica Member Posts: 138
    edited November 2019
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    Just listened to a 'pseudo' biography of Alice Roosevelt (Theodore Roosevelt's daughter) who was a two time BC survivor.

  • 1redgirl
    1redgirl Member Posts: 94
    edited December 2019
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    Just came upon this thread. I have known several women with BC. While they admit they have been treated and if pushed what that treatment may have been, but not one women I know has ever told me their stats. These women do not know anything about grade. They know staging, but seem to not know theirs. Two of my friends are dead now. Both had aggressive treatment, but to this day I cannot tell you much about their stats.

    Conversely, I am an open book. I am a big believer in transparency. I am happy to talk about this disease. It has always been extremely frustrating to me that celebs refuse to give us details. They are like the many women I know that want to keep this disease hush hush except of course bringing out all the pink ribbons which I could care less about. I want to talk stats. Details. Trials. Protocols. Science. We learn from exchanging detailed life experiences.

    It is no wonder most people are oblivious about this disease often believing it can be cured, chemo fixes everything, or worse it is a death sentence. When I do talk to women about this disease, they seem very surprised I am willing to share so much. They have thanked me for my honesty.

    Nobody is in general a more private person than me, but in this case the good of the whole is most important. Never mind pink ribbons, shine a light on the journey.