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Portrait of five celebrities who have experienced skin cancer. From left to right: Bob Marley, Bret Michaels, High Jackman, Khloe Kardashian, Ali Fedotowsky-Manno

Celebrities With Skin Cancer

Celebrities...they’re just like us! Although, not always in the most positive context. Celebrities also are diagnosed with basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma. Say what you’d like about each of the celebrities listed below, but I think we can all agree that increased awareness about skin cancer and prevention is a positive thing. As we know everyone’s experience with skin cancer is different, and here are examples of what celebrities have shared about their experience.

Most recent: Bret Michaels

Bret Michaels, the lead singer of the band Poison (think “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”), announced he is going to have surgery for skin cancer that was found from a biopsy. He did not mention the specific type of skin cancer or surgery. Bret promised his fans he would continue as planned with his tour this summer. He shared positive thoughts about his outcome and recovery on his Instagram post. I couldn’t find any public information regarding Bret pushing for awareness or providing any additional details about his experience.

Well-known movie star: Hugh Jackman

The Australian actor (known for his work in the X-Men movies and Wolverine) has experienced multiple instances with skin cancer, specifically, basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Hugh has posted multiple pictures of himself with bandages on his nose from these BCC-related procedures. He urges his fans and followers to wear sunscreen and be aware of skin cancer risks. He even launched a kids' sunscreen business, Pure Sun Defense, which has a variety of superhero images on their bottles.

Little-known case: Bob Marley

The world-wide famous reggae artist was diagnosed with acral melanoma. He died from it in 1981 at 36 years old, after it had spread to his lungs and brain. The melanoma started as a dark spot under his toenail, but Bob refused surgery due to his religious beliefs. His story serves as awareness for people of all skin colors, that skin cancer is a universal threat.

Most likely to impact the younger generation: reality stars

Khloe Kardashian, from Keeping Up with the Kardashians, had 8 inches of skin removed on her back. In one interview she mentioned she had experienced melanoma. She has reminded her fans and followers about the importance of self-checks and even shared an ABCDE cheat sheet for mole checks.

Ali Fedotowsky-Manno, the 2010 Bachelorette, announced that she had skin cancer during a Good Morning America interview. Ali admitted to tanning in tanning beds and laying out in the sun. Her diagnosis was basal cell carcinoma and she posted a picture of her mole so her followers can be aware of what to look for.

It is important that celebrities who are diagnosed with skin cancer continue to share their stories in a public forum to spread awareness and promote prevention!

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