Counting the Stars...Who Have Had Skin Cancer
Last updated: February 2023
Fact: Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Another fact: In the United States, more than 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day.1
Why, then, do so many people not take skin cancer seriously? Why do so many people think that skin cancer is inconsequential, because, after all, it’s “just” skin cancer? And more importantly, what will it take to help people realize how serious skin cancer can be?
Maybe celebrity experiences will help. I’ve seen a few articles over the past year about famous people who made public the news of their battles with skin cancer. And that got me wondering, how many famous people have had skin cancer, and who are they?
Which celebrities have had skin cancer?
Turns out, there have been more than a few. Some I knew about already, but some of them I had no idea that they’d had skin cancer. Some of the celebrities were very open about their journey with skin cancer, while others preferred to keep it quiet.
Some of them are:
- Hugh Jackman, who has had multiple skin cancers removed.
- Diane Keaton, who had skin cancer removed when she was 21 and then later had a squamous cell cancer removed.
- Donal Logue (“Sons of Anarchy”) had a squamous cell carcinoma on his scalp.
- Khloe Kardashian had a melanoma removed from her back.
- Andy Cohen had a melanoma on his lip.
- Melanie Griffith has had multiple skin cancers removed from her face.
- John McCain had multiple melanomas removed.
- Brooke Shields had a precancerous spot removed from her face.
- Troy Aikman had a malignant melanoma removed in 1998.
- Anderson Cooper had skin cancer removed from under his eye.
- Elizabeth Taylor had skin cancer when she was 70, treated successfully with radiation.
- Clint Eastwood had a portion of his cheek removed due to melanoma.
- Bob Marley died at the young age of 36 from melanoma.
This is by no means a complete list, but it does show that anyone, no matter who they are, can get skin cancer. Skin cancer does not discriminate.
Sharing your story and creating awareness
I’m grateful for those who have publicly shared their story. I’m hopeful that hearing about skin cancer from a public figure will cause people to look at it differently, and to realize that skin cancer is serious business.
But do you know what? It’s not just public figures who should tell their story. We can all share our skin cancer journeys with others. Tell people what you’re going through. Share your experience. Show your scars. Let others know that skin cancer isn’t something to be taken lightly. You never know who needs to hear your story and will use that as encouragement to make an appointment for a skin check. And if it’s time for you to make an appointment for a skin check, let this encourage you to make that call, schedule the appointment, and take good care of you.
Do you sunscreen in the fall?