These stars demonstrated a desire to live big and thrive before their battles with cancer began. They serve as inspiration for how the experience spurred them on further. Here are 10 black celebrities who fought and beat cancer.
The actor known for “The A-Team” has battled T-cell lymphoma on and off. He attributed his comeback to a diet of chicken and peanut butter! He did, however, also undergo chemotherapy.
In 2007, the “Good Morning America” cohost underwent treatment for breast cancer. Roberts found a lump during a self examination—an experience she spoke about in a Prevention.com article. She also voices her opinions in the article on how women should approach their own health, and her opinions on health insurance.
The singer/songwriter battled and overcame prostate cancer in 1996. He has been very open about his experience after surgery, including emotional and physical side effects. Today he is a cancer awareness activist.
The Egyptian-American co-host of “Today’s Talk” was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. Kotb underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery following her diagnosis and today is an advocate for breast cancer awareness. She speaks extensively about her own body image in her Today.com interview.
In December of 2004, this soul singer was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent a prostatectomy—a very invasive procedure. Within weeks of his surgery, Brown was performing again.
Carroll was one of the first black actors to appear in major studio productions in the ’50s. At age 63 the actress was diagnosed with breast cancer following a routine mammogram. Today Carroll is a public breast cancer awareness activist.
The former South African president survived prostate cancer—something he battled several times during his life. At the age of 83 he was diagnosed with the cancer, but 16 years prior he had undergone surgery to remove benign tumors. Mandela died in December at age 95 after a a prolonged respiratory infection.
The standup comedian and actress was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. The cancer was found when Sykes went in for a cosmetic procedure—she wanted a breast reduction—but following that discovery she underwent a double mastectomy.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell had a cancerous prostate gland surgically removed in 2003. Today he is a spokesman for prostate cancer prevention and has worked with the Prostate Conditions Education Council.