Why This Star Felt It Was Her Duty to Talk About Her Health

The actress describes the moment her “activism came out.”

Christina Appledate

While It seems relatively common now, stars didn’t always talk about their health struggles.

Sometimes a “close friend” would divulge personal information. Maybe paparazzi would snap a big name leaving a clinic or a hospital – it was rare to hear about a diagnosis or treatment plan straight from the source.

Related: Are your odds of developing cancer really a 50/50 chance?

But it’s not that way anymore. Stars are using their platform to raise awareness for little-known diseases or to talk about prevention and share ways for fans to keep themselves safe.

Celebs are sharing their personal health struggles

In the last few years, Selena Gomez has raised the profile of lupus, Hugh Jackman has warned the world about the dangers of skin cancer and Angelina Jolie has talked openly about Bell’s palsy, hypertension and preventative cancer surgeries. (She famously wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about having a double mastectomy.)

Related: This former Bachelor contestant got reconstructive surgery after a double mastectomy.

Christina Applegate’s cancer diagnosis motivated her to speak out

But they’re not the only ones. Stars around the world have made it their mission to improve their fans’ health – including Christina Applegate. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, the 46-year-old actress has been vocal about the disease and about women’s health ever since. Like Jolie, Applegate underwent a double mastectomy, and then decided to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her risk of recurrence.

Related: These 10 celebs have inspired us with the way they handled cancer

Like so many others in Hollywood, Applegate felt it was her duty to help other women, saying “When I first came out about my breast cancer I didn’t want to talk about it, but I had to, because young women were getting it, and people weren’t understanding that.” She also notes the misconception that breast cancer is an old woman’s disease, “women that were 36 were getting breast cancer, or women that were 28 were getting breast cancer, and they were opting not to get MRIs when they were high-risk because of the cost.”

Saying that’s when her “activism came out,” Applegate’s now made it her mission to educate women about the importance of MRIs when it comes to cancer screenings. The Emmy award-winning actress says the scan saved her life: “An MRI saved my life. Had I waited for my mammogram, I would be dead right now.”

Related: This Pretty Little Liars star explains why she gained 70 pounds.

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