Actor and breast cancer survivor Christina Applegate, 47, was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series for her starring role in the Netflix series “Dead to Me.”
The actor, who also starred in the popular “Samantha Who?” on ABC, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, when she was 36.Read More
Double Mastectomy For Breast Cancer -- Christina Applegate's Journey
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Unlike Applegate, her character had a preventative double mastectomy, meaning that she wasn’t actually diagnosed with cancer, but had her breasts removed because she was at high risk for developing the disease.
Applegate went public with her cancer diagnosis back in 2008. “I think after I had cancer and I talked about it out there in the world, I was trying to be a champion for myself, you know, almost like, lying to myself,” she said.
Applegate’s Cancer Journey
Applegate began getting mammogram screenings at age 30 because she has the BRCA gene mutation, which dramatically increases a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer. She has a family history with the disease, likely related to inherited BRCA mutations, and her breast cancer was caught early.
After her diagnosis, Applegate had a double mastectomy. Her mom, also a breast cancer survivor, had a double mastectomy a few months later. At the time, Applegate told People magazine that she wanted to get her bilateral mastectomy so that she would be “done with the whole thing,” but that it was a difficult decision.
Applegate was declared cancer-free shortly after her mastectomy. She shared with Women’s Health that “I’m grateful that I caught it before I needed chemo, but the whole experience really sucked.”
She also revealed in 2017 that she’s had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed as well. Ovarian and fallopian tube cancers are also linked to the BRCA 1 gene mutation.
Information about Mastectomies for Breast Cancer
Mastectomy is the removal of the entire breast during surgery, and whether to have the surgery can be one of the most difficult decisions a woman has to make during breast cancer treatment.
Dr. Ann Partridge, an Oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on when to consider a mastectomy.
There are a number of factors to weigh when considering a mastectomy, chief among them is whether breast-conserving surgery (or lumpectomy) is possible. Your doctor will look at the size and features of your tumor as well as your family history in order to make a recommendation.