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October 4, 2015

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: TV Characters Who Fought the Disease

by Kelly Woo, posted Oct 1st 2010 4:00PM
Samantha, Sex and the CityOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this year marks the 25th anniversary of the international campaign.

All month long, breast cancer charities will hold events (like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure ®) to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention and cure. (Learn more about breast cancer at AOL Health.)

TV shows have done their part to help increase awareness through characters either fighting breast cancer, or dealing with the possibility they might have it. Check out these five programs with characters who tackled the issue of breast cancer ...

Samantha Jones, 'Sex and the City

The hedonistic Samantha lived life to the fullest, and her biggest health concern was safe sex. Then she went in for a breast-implant consultation -- and discovered a lump. After battling the disease, Samantha celebrated her cancer's remission and with her typical brash style.

Dana Fairbanks, 'The L Word'
In a devastatingly real depiction, Dana struggled with breast cancer through season 3 but ultimately succumbed to the disease. One 'L Word' fan was so moved by the storyline that he or she made an anonymous $1 million donation to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.

'Four Extraordinary Women'
In this Lifetime movie starring Lindsay Wagner and inspired by true stories, four women connected by one man -- his wife, mother, sister and childhood nanny -- are all diagnosed with breast cancer. Watch the full movie via Hulu on AOL:

Brenda, 'Beverly Hills, 90210'
While her friends prep for the SATs, Brenda has to undergo a test of a very different kind after she finds a lump in her breast. Luckily, the lump turned out to be benign, but the show's young viewers were exposed to the need for self-examinations.

Mary Beth Lacey, 'Cagney & Lacey'
When Mary Beth Lacey was diagnosed with cancer after discovering a lump in her breast, she tried to ignore and deny it at first. It was up to her partner, Christine Cagney, to encourage her to seek treatment.

Murphy Brown, 'Murphy Brown'
In the 10th and final season, 'Murphy Brown' tackled the issue of breast cancer with its usual blend of humor and wit (see Murphy discovering medical marijuana, below). At Corky's insistence Murphy gets a mammogram -- though she argues her family doesn't have a history of breast cancer. The show has been credited with increasing the number of women getting mammograms by 30 percent and Bergen herself received an award from the American Cancer Society.

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Frak Cancer

Laura Roslin (BSG), at least her first bout with cancer. (We're never told exactly where the second, fatal cancer was).

October 02 2010 at 2:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

didn't Celia Hoades (Weeds) have breast cancer?
and what kind of cancer does Cathy have in The Bog C?

October 02 2010 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As a two-time survivor, however the message gets out that we all must ake control of our own medical dstiny and stop with just one prognosis, that we all must be inbformed and informative, any way the message makes it to a larger audience is a positive. I wait for the show where a guy gets breast cancer and deals with the other levels of even some other survivors not welcoming him to the groups simnply because he is male.

October 02 2010 at 2:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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