Skip to content
Wanda Sykes discusses her breast cancer on Ellen
avatar
Haylen_WebMD_Staff posted:
I'm a huge Wanda Sykes fan and was surprised to hear about her double mastectomy earlier this year after learning she had ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).

Click the link above to read her story recently told on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She's one of Entertainment Weekly's 25 Funniest People in America.

However, I think some of the funny ladies here could give her a run for her money!

Haylen
Was this Helpful?
2 of 2 found this helpful
Reply
 
avatar
brcansur responded:
Haylen
I am with you on this one I have been a fan for years and was shock when I heard the news of her dx. But I know she is a very strong women and will handle this well. Now that she is speaking out about it she will take it by the horns and make a differents in her own way. The way she does things she will be heard in more ways then one and I am sure more people will hear her then she thinks and will reach out for the cure against breast cancer. It is funny how when a person like her speaks out for the first time and for a while after that there is a big jump in fund raising for the cure of breast cancer. But if that is what it takes then so be it let them speak out about their battles with the beast and help others like them.
Sometimes it takes a star getting sick before others see how bad it really is and that is really sad.
I wish her and every one that gets this dx all the best in everything they do and ever dream in their lifes.
Have a great day angel hugs Roberta,
Roberta
 
avatar
judyfams replied to brcansur's response:
My only objection with these celebrities saying they opted for bilateral mastectomies is that they then do not tell you what the surgery entailed and if they had reconstruction - what that was like in terms of pain and length of recuperation.
It sounds so easy to hear these celebrities say they had a double mastectomy as you see them weeks or months later and they look and sound great.
They do not have to go into all kinds of details, but these celebrities need to let other women know how they tolerated the surgery and what was involved with their recuperation. By not sharing that part of their story I really feel they are doing women an injustice.
Judy
 
avatar
brcansur replied to judyfams's response:
Judy
I agree with you some of them do make it sound like it was nothing and that it was surgery one day and back to normal the next. It would help if they let other women know what it was really like for them. How their surgery went,how their recover was if they had chemo and how that went if they did. If they had rad and how that was for them if they did. These things would help us and it would also help to see that they are just like the rest of us ladies dealing or that have dealt with breast cancer. Like you said if they had reconstructions and what kind why they picked that form of recostruction and how it went for them. Have they had any issues with their suregeries or reconsrtuction all of these things would greatly help other women that have benn there or are going through it now. Don't suger coat something that is not sweet going through it is tuff, hard, nasty and anything but fun, sweet and easy. You are so right they are doing women an injustice by not sharing their true story. Have a great day angel hugs Roberta,
Roberta
 
avatar
rachael67 replied to judyfams's response:
Good point, Judy. But to be fair to the celebrities, most interviews only give them enough time for the "hi-lites"...I fault them (the programs) more often than not.

Blessings.
Rachael
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly!
Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
 
avatar
judyfams replied to rachael67's response:
Ladies,
I listened to Pat Battle (NBC local reporter) talk about her having breast cancer on a 30 min. special and she never mentioned the word radiation - which I think she had because she mentioned she had a lumpectomy. For 30 min. they showed her having a mammogram, and being wheeled into surgery and her family and friends being so supportive, and then her being welcomed back to work with a party and flowers looking great.
I was so angry I screamed at the TV. They trivialized breast cancer and made a lumpectomy seem like a routine tonsilectomy! They wasted a great educational opportunity!
All they had to do was mention that she had radiation and mention the radiation options and explain the reason for having to have radiation with a lumpectomy. The documentary never even mentioned anything about a sentinel node biopsy!!!!
What a crock!
I do not want to scare women, but we need to change October to Breast Education and Awareness month. We are all aware of breast cancer but are mostly clueless as to what the disease does to us and how to make the best informed choices.
Mastectomy and reconstruction are serious surgeries, and women should know that.
Other than their having breast cancer what have you heard about the treatments that Andrea Mitchell, Cheryl Crow, Martina Navrotola, and even Wanda Sykes underwent? Lumpectomy followed by brachytherapy or external whole breast radiation in the supine or prone position Mastectomy followed by immediate or delayed reconstruction? One or two stage implants or DIEPP, or Tram, or Latissumus Dorsal, or SIEA or Micro Fat Grafting? Wouldn't it be helpful if these celebrities just mentioned the names of the treatments they underwent, so women could have some idea of the many different treatment options available.
Judy
 
avatar
rachael67 replied to judyfams's response:
Judy, I like the idea of making the designation include "Education"...Maybe you've just lit one candle!! Hoping it begins to ignite others!

Blessings.
Rachael
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly!
Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
 
avatar
jenna291 replied to rachael67's response:
H Judy,
I would add Christina Applegate to the list. I know she didn't have chemo, but did have a mastectomy and have seen her on talk shows looking fabulous and not getting into the nitty gritty of all there is to go thru and how this diagnosis, going thru chemo or not, changes your life forever.
Kelly Tuthill, who is a local reporter in Boston on channel 5, did the best job explaining her journey of any "celebrity" that I know of. She did have chemo and her children were young. She let cameras in her home and explained all of her treatment program and all of the hell she went thru to bring awareness. She showed herself at her worst. She is a true warrior for her courage at showing herself in such a vulnerable state.
There is a whole new language to learn when you hear your diagnosis. These celebrities could help so many women. Melissa Ethridge did an interview years ago when she was bald and going thru her personal hell, and I remember crying at her courage. This was long before I ever dreamed of being in a similar situation.
Jenna
 
avatar
judyfams replied to jenna291's response:
Jenna,
We are in total agreement about what women should know before they are diagnosed so they can ask their MD the correct questions.
I for one never heard of brachytherapy until after I finished external whole breast rads. I think I would have been an ideal candidate - but could not ask questions about something I never heard of!
So now I am on a mission to speak to women before (and if) they are diagnosed about possible treatment options. I have put together a fact sheet that I give out, and update as needed. My feeling is that when you hear the phrase "you have breast cancer" you go into brain freeze and paralysis and that is not the time to calmly talk about the different treatment options.
That hapenned to me and I went on all the websites ACS, Susan K., Livestrong, CCCof America and could not find a simple factual flow sheet about options. That is what started me on my research and I have since found all this info. as well as researching books like Susan Love - but wouldn't it make decisions simpler for women if they had an outline and thumbnail sketch so they could ask their doctors about whether or not they are candidates for these procedures.
It was my research that led me to find I could have rads in the prone position! Whoda thunk that??????
From some of the questions we get - you can see how these women are terrified, anxious and sometimes unable to cope after being diagnosed. They do not even know where to begin!
So it is up to us warriors to help these ladies fight this battle so they have all the information they need to make the best decisions for themselves!
You are so right that women don't know that this diagnosis changes your life forever - and most celebrities make it sound so easy - diagnosis - some kind of surgery and viola you are cured and life is wonderful!
Sorry about this - but I do feel strongly about educating women before any diagnosis - and the lucky ones will be able to put my fact sheet on the bottom of their birdcage!!!!
Judy
 
avatar
jenna291 replied to judyfams's response:
Judy,
There is a show air tonight at 9pm est that sounds interesting.
I hope it doesn't fluff things. I am out with friends for dinner but will tune in if I am back on time.

You are so right, it is up to us warrior to spread the word on all we know. Even diet suggestions would be so helpful, but I got lines like "just eat what tastes good" - really???? My girlfriend who had gone thru chemo 2 years before me was a lifesaver suggesting things that tasted good thru the various chemos. As good as my docs are, sometimes I feel that there are so many of us, we are just another number.
Here is the blerb about the show:

Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore, Alicia Keys, Patricia Clarkson, Tony Shaloub and Jeffrey Tambor are just some of the stars attached to Lifetime's special breast cancer series "Five." The show debuts tonight at 9 p.m. EDT. According to Lifetime: The groundbreaking original movie "Five" is an anthology of five short films exploring the impact of breast cancer on people's lives. "Five" highlights the shared experience each short film's title character endures from the moment of diagnosis, through an interconnected story arc that uses humor and drama to focus on the effect breast cancer and its different stages of diagnosis.

Never apologize for feeling so strongly about educating women - it is so very important! The bottom of the birdcage sounds great - hopefully for tons of women!!!
Jenna
 
avatar
brcansur replied to jenna291's response:
Jenna
You beat me to it I was getting ready to say Melissa Ethridge talked about her dx and surgery and treatment while still bald.When she went back out on tour after breast cancer she would take time to talk to all the women at her concerts about her ordeal with breast cancer and how important it is to get checked yearly get your mammos get breast exams do self exams. It is not something you just talk about you have to do it. Tell all the women in your life to do it make sure they do it go together and do it every year. She tells her story and does not suger coat it I have gone to concert and heard her story you see a lot of women crying before she is done and you know the message got across to a lot of women and hope a least 50 % if not more. I would like it if it was 100% but we know some it takes longer to really get it.
I really do wish that more of us would help more women understand what cancer really does to our bodys before they have to live it like we did. If someone asks me what it was like I ask them do you want the truth or just some of the story. If they can handle the true story then I tell all that I went through from beginning to now including the last ordeal with the red breast and all with the implant. That is what helps people learn about things is by telling them the true story. But I don't want to scare them either.
So let them know but do it in a way that you do not scare them. Let them feel what we felt, see what we seen.
Roberta,
Roberta
 
avatar
Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to brcansur's response:
Roberta, Judy, Rachael and Jenna,

There is a fine line between truth and scary stuff. You ladies strike the perfect balance here. Thanks for all you do for the women that come here desperate for information and support!

Jenna, I LOVE the Kelly Tuthill story. And claps for Melissa for showing a less-than-perfect-face.

Regarding celebrities: I started my career in public relations in the entertainment industry. I was once paid $500 to answer written online questions AS A GIANT MOVIE STAR for a feature film promotion. I swear on the life of my daughters that this is 100% true. The answers were vetted through the production company and her manager with strict "must mention" and "can't mention" guidelines. It's my favorite cocktail party story. No one can believe it. IMO, I made her sound much more fun than she probably is IRL!

Interviews are usually very carefully managed with an agenda that might not be for the good of the people or even under the celebrities control. I did an internship for a giant late night talk show in New York for three months when I was studying journalism in college. What an eye opener. No matter how "improv" or "off-the-cuff" a celebrity might seem, chances are, it's a performance.

I don't mean to sound like a hater! I know there are many, many sincere celebrities doing great work out there. But I don't think the general public gets how powerful the celebrity spin machine can be.

Care to guess what celebrity I wrote as? I can't confirm nor deny.....but it was a HUGE one (((HUGS))) and sugar smacks!

Haylen


Helpful Tips

Alternative consumer self-test device for early detection of breast cancer?
This may be an interesting personalized alternative for early detection to then be verified through Breast MRI/Mammography: Eclipse, ... More
Was this Helpful?
1 of 1 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health Breast Cancer Center