As you probably know, Christina Applegate is the gorgeous blond actress whose credits include films like Anchorman and The Sweetest Thing, as well as sitcoms including Samantha Who? and Married…With Children. As you also may have heard, this 37-year-old is also a breast cancer survivor. Needless to say, we were thrilled that she agreed to share her story with The Path of Wellness & Healing.
Since her mother Nancy was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 38, Christina began getting annual mammograms since she turned 30. When her doctor encouraged her to start getting MRI‘s as well, she agreed: “I’m very on top of it: When my doctor tells me to do something, I do it.” The test found something “funky” in her left breast, which led to a biopsy, and Christina had an instinctual hunch about the results: “I knew. I ignored the phone as much as possible – I didn’t want to hear those words. Because I kind of knew.” One week later, Christina learned that her hunch was right; she was living with breast cancer.
Because of her family history, Christina’s oncologist encouraged her to get tested for a BRCA mutation. When the results were positive, Christina decided to have a lumpectomy – but her doctor asked her to consider more serious treatment. “She said, ‘We really need to talk about this, because your chances of it coming back are so high – so you really need to think about this.’”
When she realized the gravity of the situation, Christina quickly switched gears and agreed to move forward with a double mastectomy, underestimating the toll that this experience would take. “I think I prepared myself for something a little easier. Not the physical aspect of it, but the mental and emotional aspect of it were a shock.”
While regular mammograms are extremely important, for women at increased risk for breast cancer (like Christina), an MRI can be a true life-saver. But since insurance doesn’t always cover this expensive procedure, Christina launched the Right Action for Women foundation – with a mission to help cover the high costs of these invaluable breast screenings.
Find more of Christina’s story – and several other Breast Cancer Heroes – on our DVD, Breast Cancer: The Path of Wellness & Healing.