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Celebrities who have survived cancer: Chris Evans, Hugh Jackman and more

Following Chris Evans' skin cancer diagnosis, HELLO! looks at celebrities including Michael Douglas, Ben Stiller and Jane Fonda who have overcome cancer 

Hugh Jackman, Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas split screen photo
Melanie Macleod
Melanie MacleodWellness Editor
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DJ Chris Evans spoke openly on his Virgin Radio show on Monday, sharing he has been diagnosed with skin cancer.

The 57-year-old shared that his masseuse had noticed a mark on his shin, which lead to the diagnosis, which comes eight years on from his prostate cancer scare, which he was thankfully given the all-clear from.

Speaking of his skin cancer diagnosis, Chris said: "I've just got to talk briefly about my biopsy for the skin cancer issue. The best news that I got whilst I was away is that it was a positive test, so I have tested positive for skin cancer.

Chris Evans smiling in a cap© Instagram
Chris Evans shared he has been diagnosed with skin cancer

"Obviously better news would have been [that it was] negative. But the reason it's great news is because they've caught it as early as they can, as early as is possible." He explained his cancer is melanoma, adding: "It's as treatable as cancer can be to the extent that they call it 'stage zero'," with the cancer set to be removed on 14 September.

He spoke equally candidly about prostate cancer in 2015, telling his fans: "Prostate cancer, and colon cancer of course, are one of the most survivable forms of cancer there is, if caught early enough. If not, one of the least.

READ: How my breast cancer diagnosis took me on the path to unexpected happiness 

"It's a fine line between life and death, happiness and tragedy," he said, before he was given the all clear.

Read on for other celebrities who have survived cancer...

Michael Douglas tongue cancer battle

Michael Douglas standing with Catherine Zeta-Jones© Dimitrios Kambouris
Catherine and Michael overcame the star's cancer diagnosis together

In 2010, Catherine Zeta-Jones' husband shared that he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer (which was later revealed to be tongue cancer) and said he would have chemotherapy and radiation treatments to fight it.

Michael was outspoken about his belief that Canada’s healthcare system helped detect the cancer. He credited doctors in Montreal for the diagnosis, saying that American doctors had failed to adequately label his health problem. He has also been open about his belief that his alcohol abuse and smoking led to his illness.

LOOK: Michael Douglas shares casual selfie that sparks mixed reaction from fans 

Ben Stiller cancer diagnosis

ben stiller
Ben Stiller recovered from cancer

In 2016, Zoolander icon Ben Stiller revealed he had been battling an "aggressive" form of cancer for the past two years. The comedian said then he had had prostate cancer and had since made a full recovery.

Hugh Jackman's skin cancer 

Hugh Jackman purple velvet jacket © Getty
Hugh Jackman has had skin cancer

The Greatest Showman star Hugh Jackman has battled skin cancer repeatedly since 2013. He has had several carcinomas removed from his nose, the most recent in April 2023, when he shared an Instagram video after having two new biopsies on lesions on his nose. Watch the clip below to see what Hugh said about his latest update.

WATCH: Hugh Jackman details his recent cancer scare

Giuliana Rancic's breast cancer

giuliana rancic
Giuliana Rancic had breast cancer in 2011

E! News co-anchor  Giuliana Rancic was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in 2011. She had a double lumpectomy that year to remove it, which she followed with radiation therapy. Later that year, Giuliana revealed she had had a double mastectomy following her treatment.

Jane Fonda cancer diagnosis

US actress Jane Fonda arrives for the Closing Ceremony and the screening of the film "Elemental" © LOIC VENANCE
Jane Fonda has had cancer several times

Grace and Frankie star Jane Fonda underwent a lumpectomy to remove breast cancer in 2010, plus in 2018 she had a cancerous growth removed from her lower lip, along with pre-melanoma growths removed from her skin.

In 2022, the 85-year-old shared the news she had non-Hodgkin lymphoma, before updating fans that she was in remission. "Last week I was told by my oncologist that my cancer is in remission and I can discontinue chemo," she explained.

""I am feeling so blessed, so fortunate. I thank all of you who prayed and sent good thoughts my way. I am confident that it played a role in the good news," Jane cotinued.

Michael C. Hall


The Golden Globe-winning Dexter and Six Feet Under star battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2010. He has been outspoken about how difficult it was to be diagnosed with the disease at age 38 when his own father had died of cancer at age 39. His cancer has been in remission since 2010.

Christina Applegate's breast cancer diagnosis

Christina Applegate at the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Fairmont Century Plaza on February 26, 2023 in Los Angeles, California© Getty Images
Christina Applegate has MS

Prior to her MS diagnosis, Dead To Me actress Christina Applegate had breast cancer in 2008. It was detected early thanks to an MRI and was not considered life-threatening. The star had a double mastectomy the same year because tests showed she had inherited a BRCA1 mutation, a trait that can cause breast cancer. 

The star spoke candidly about her MS diagnosis in 2021, explaining: "Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS. It’s been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition. It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some [expletive] blocks it."

READ: Celebrities who have bravely spoken about MS: Christina Applegate, Selma Blair and more  

Robin Roberts' breast cancer diagnosis


Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. The star underwent surgery, chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation therapy, bravely returning to work only a couple of weeks after an operation.

Five years later, in 2012, Robin faced a second diagnosis of MSA – bone marrow disorder myelodysplastic syndrome – which is caused when the blood-forming cells in the bone marrow become abnormal. Thankfully she overcame her second brush with the disease, and remains cancer-free.

READ: GMA's Robin Roberts' unbelievable story of survival – and how partner Amber supported her 

Sheryl Crow's 2006 breast cancer diagnosis

Sheryl is being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year© Larry Busacca
Sheryl Crow had cancer when she was 44

Nine-time Grammy nominee Sheryl Crow, who was 44 at the time, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and said then doctors told her “prognosis for a full recovery is excellent.”

In 2017, she opened up about surviving breast cancer, saying the 33 radiation treatments she underwent in under two months made her rethink her life and prompted her decision to adopt two boys, Wyatt and Levi, in 2007 and 2010, respectively.

”No matter how much you think you can control things in life, you really don’t,” she told Country Living in 2017. “I was perfectly healthy, had no family history, and wound up with a breast cancer diagnosis, so some things just happen.”

Robert De Niro's prostate cancer

Robert De Niro attends a press conference during the 17th Marrakech International Film Festival on December 2, 2018 in Marrakech, Morocco© Getty Images
Robert De Niro had prostate cancer

The Godfather star and two-time Academy Award-winner was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003. He underwent surgery that same year and has been cancer-free since, celebrating his 80th birthday in 2023.

Kathy Bates' cancer diagnosis

Kathy Bates smiling on the Oscars red carpet© Getty Images
Kathy Bates had breast cancer

Oscar-winner Kathy Bates has beaten both ovarian cancer and breast cancer. She was diagnosed with the former in 2003, and in 2012 she revealed she’d had a double mastectomy after being told she had breast cancer.

​MORE: Kathy Bates' weight loss journey: how the actress lost over 4 stone 

Sharon Osbourne's breast and colon cancer battles

Sharon Osbourne in a pin strip suit on TV© Getty
Sharon Osbourne has had breast cancer

While she cares for her unwell husband Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon Osbourne has struggled with her health herself. The former X Factor and America’s Got Talent judge shared she’d had surgery for colon cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes in 2002. Her battle with the illness was highly documented during the second season of MTV’s The Osbournes.

Since then, she’s become a cancer activist, having founded the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program at Los Angeles’ Cedars Sinai Hospital.

In 2012, she revealed she’d also had a double mastectomy after learning she carried a gene that increased her risk of developing breast cancer.

READ: Sharon Osbourne's heartache amid Ozzy's 'awful' Parkinson's battle: 'My heart breaks'

Mark Ruffalo's brain cancer

mark ruffalo live stream© Photo: Getty Images
Mark Ruffalo had brain cancer

In 2001, Academy Award nominee Mark Ruffalo was diagnosed with brain cancer and had surgery to remove a benign tumour that left him with partial facial paralysis for a time. The tumour left him with deafness in one ear.

Rod Stewart's thyroid cancer


Rock 'n' roll legend Rod Stewart is kept busy with his ever-expanding family, but he hasn't always been as health. 2000 saw the Maggie May singer diagnosed with thyroid cancer, for which he had surgery. 

There were worries about whether the operation would permanently damage his voice, but he learned how to sing again. He's since become a cancer activist, and is particularly enthusiastic about raising money for cancers affecting children.

Cynthia Nixon's breast cancer

 Cynthia Nixon wore a tightfitting jersey number© Cindy Ord
Cynthia Nixon privately battled breast cancer

And Just Like That... star Cynthia Nixon shared in 2008 that she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer two years prior. The 57-year-old opted not to go public with her battle because she worried it would affect her career. She has since become one of Hollywood’s most prominent breast cancer activists.

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