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10 Celebs Who've Been Touched By Skin Cancer

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 05/10/2012 7:28 am

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that one in five Americans will develop some form of the disease in their lifetime. According to the foundation's web site, "nearly 800,000 Americans are living with a history of melanoma and 13 million are living with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer, typically diagnosed as basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma."

The famous faces on the list below are amongst those ranks -- celebrities who have either had skin cancer themselves or are spreading the word after a very close call.

The good news is that even melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, is treatable under the right circumstances.

"Melanoma is almost always curable when it is found in its very early stages," according to the American Cancer Society.

So this May, National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, take a moment to remember to protect your own skin -- seek shade during midday hours, wear protective clothing, hats and sunglasses, slather on the sunscreen and skip indoor tanning. And be vigilant about regular screenings.

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  • Ewan McGregor

    A few years back, the star had a cancerous mole removed from under his eye, <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7360233.stm" target="_hplink">telling the BBC</a> that he knew his fair skin -- and years spent enjoying the sun -- upped his risk. "I went to see a specialist who thought they were better to be removed, and indeed he was correct,"<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7360233.stm" target="_hplink"> McGregor told the BBC.</a>

  • Michelle Monaghan

    <a href="http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20532015_2,00.html" target="_hplink">The actress told <em>Health</em> magazine</a> that her Aussie husband was instrumental in keeping her skin cancer from progressing. "A few years ago I had a mole on the back of my calf, and he was adamant that I get it checked," <a href="http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20532015_2,00.html" target="_hplink">she told the publication.</a> "In Australia, they're very aware of skin cancer. I finally went and it was skin cancer."

  • William H. Macy

    After appearing on her show with a small bandage on his nose, the actor told "Live! with Kelly" host Kelly Ripa he'd recently had a basal-cell carcinoma removed <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/dailydish/2012/01/03/william-h-macy-recovering-from-skin-cancer-surgery/" target="_hplink"> (via SFGate)</a>. "I'm Scots/Irish heritage and (that's what I get) for spending a misspent youth in Georgia with no sunscreen," Macy said.

  • Melanie Griffith

    The actress once underwent surgery to remove "the early stages of skin cancer from her face," <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2009-12-18/entertainment/melanie.griffith.cancer_1_melanie-griffith-skin-cancer-surgery?_s=PM:SHOWBIZ" target="_hplink">CNN reported. </a> According to <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2009-12-18/entertainment/melanie.griffith.cancer_1_melanie-griffith-skin-cancer-surgery?_s=PM:SHOWBIZ" target="_hplink">CNN,</a> Griffith's spokesperson explained that the surgery was done early enough to prevent any future complications.

  • John McCain

    The politician has had at least four melanomas, <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/24/science/sci-melanoma24" target="_hplink">the <em>Los Angeles Times</em> reports.</a> "Melanoma can almost always be cured in its early stages. But it is likely to spread to other parts of the body if it is not caught early," <a href="http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/SkinCancer-Melanoma/OverviewGuide/melanoma-skin-cancer-overview-what-is-melanoma" target="_hplink">The American Cancer Society explains.</a> "Melanoma is much less common than basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers ... but it is far more dangerous."

  • Brooke Shields

    Though the actress is skin-cancer free, <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20280761,00.html" target="_hplink">she told <em>People</em> magazine</a> that her doctor once removed a precancerous mole from her face, which served as a real wake-up call. "All my girlfriends and I would go up on the roof in New York; we didn't have to be at the beach," <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20280761,00.html" target="_hplink">Shields told<em> People</em>,</a> explaining that she stopped tanning years ago. "You think that because you're not in the sun anymore, it's all in the past. And then something like that crops up and you're made aware of how dangerous it really can be."

  • Laura Bush

    The former First Lady had a tumor removed from her shin several years ago, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2006/12/18/wh-laura-bush-had-skin-ca_n_36672.html" target="_hplink">the AP reported.</a> It was a squamous cell carcinoma -- a non-melanoma skin cancer -- the main symptom of which is a "growing bump that may have a rough, scaly surface and flat reddish patches," <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001832/" target="_hplink">the NIH explains.</a>

  • Troy Aikman

    The former NFL quarterback was told he had 100 percent chance of survival after a malignant melanoma was removed from his shoulder back in the late 1990s,<a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1013047/index.htm" target="_hplink"> according to <em>Sports Illustrated.</em> </a>

  • Anderson Cooper

    The star reporter had minor surgery to remove a cancerous mole from his face, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/19/anderson-cooper-has-surge_n_92338.html" target="_hplink">the AP reported.</a> <a href="http://www.accesshollywood.com/anderson-cooper-has-small-spot-of-skin-cancer-removed_article_8823" target="_hplink">As Access Hollywood explained,</a> he mentioned the procedure on his blog explaining that he had "a small spot of skin cancer removed from under my left eye."

  • Lisa Gastineau

    The former reality TV star (who may be returning to it again soon) had a basal cell carcinoma inside her nose removed, which required doctors to remove part of her nostril, <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20348105,00.html" target="_hplink">according to <em>People.</em></a> She's also had melanoma removed from her thigh, and now is very careful to avoid the sun.

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