Kathy Bates Twice Survived Cancer — Look Back at Her Battle for Life
"American Horror Story" actress Kathy Bates has successfully fought cancer twice and battled post-cancer lymphedema. Here is her inspiring story.
Fighting cancer is no easy feat. Fighting it twice is even less so. Actress Kathy Bates has done this and even more, and at the age of 72, she has achieved so much and done incredibly well for herself.
In 2003, at the age of 55, the actress was diagnosed with stage 1 ovarian cancer. As one would imagine, the shock and fear of the unknown gripped Bates as she proceeded into uncharted territory, hoping for the best.
Following her cancer diagnosis, Bates had surgery immediately, after which nine months of chemotherapy followed to treat the illness. While going through all of this, the "American Horror Story" actress did not reveal her ordeal to the public.
She revealed that her agent warned her against sharing her diagnosis with the public due to the stigma against it in Hollywood. Besides her agent, her gynecologist, whose husband worked in showbiz, also reportedly advised her to keep the information to herself.
Bates had to be very careful, so much so that she returned to work right after her operation, appearing in "Little Black Book" with Brittany Murphy.
Although her agents tried to prevent Bates from becoming the poster child for ovarian cancer in Hollywood, the actress was exhausted and tired of keeping this heavy secret.
Despite being cancer-free, she had to deal with her biggest challenge yet: lymphedema.
This feeling of exhaustion was further solidified when she reportedly saw Melissa Etheridge on stage flaunting her bald head while performing. Bates knew that she wanted to be that free and that proud of her journey.
About nine years after she first battled cancer, Bates was shocked when she felt the all-too-familiar extreme exhaustion and, upon an MRI scan, received a breast cancer diagnosis.
Without any hesitation, the Memphis-born actress swiftly opted for a double mastectomy. Knowing that the illness runs in her family, she could not take the risk. Her aunt had died from it, her mother had it, and so did her niece.
During the time she was battling the resurrected illness, Bates seemingly disappeared from social media. She finally came out two months after her surgery on Twitter to share what had been happening.
Unafraid and unapologetic about her inspiring story, Bates shared her cancer diagnosis with her fans and followers, as well as the details of her double mastectomy.
(1/2) Hey All, sorry for the long silence. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 months ago & am recovering from a double mastectomy.— Kathy Bates (@MsKathyBates) September 12, 2012
The 72-year-old, who is now a proud ovarian cancer advocate, also revealed that although she conquered cancer with her double mastectomy, the journey after that was still long and painful.
Despite being cancer-free, she had to deal with her biggest challenge yet: lymphedema, a disease that very commonly springs up after the removal of lymph nodes during cancer treatment.
The condition, which led to swelling of her arms and legs, caused so much pain for the actress. With the right doctors, she was able to battle that out as well, revealing that weight loss greatly helped with the post-cancer condition.
Now, years after, Kathy Bates is an inspiring and strong cancer survivor who is not afraid to tell her story. What a phenomenal woman!
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