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Olivia Munn Tells All -- From 'Terrifying' Breast Cancer Diagnosis To Shock Of Seeing Her Body After Double Mastectomy

Olivia Munn Tells All -- From 'Terrifying' Breast Cancer Diagnosis To Shock Of Seeing Herself After Double Mastectomy

Olivia Munn is sharing all the “terrifying” details of her battle with breast cancer.

In a tell-all interview with People published on Wednesday, the X-Men: Apocalypse actress vulnerably opened up about her breast cancer diagnosis, and how physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing her journey to health has been…

How It All Started

Olivia explained how after welcoming her son Malcolm with John Mulaney in 2021, she got more serious about staying on top of her health. Like any mother, she wants to “be here as long” as she can for the little guy — so she kicked off her health assessments with a mammogram. And in a scary twist, she was cleared. She then tested negative for the BRCA cancer gene, so she thought she had a clean bill of health!

“I was walking around thinking that I had no breast cancer. I did all the tests that I knew about.”

But sadly, some breast cancers can go undetected in mammograms. Thankfully her doc was being especially cautious and recommended the Tyrer-Cuzick risk assessment test, which determines a patient’s risk for cancer based on personal factors.

Related: Kate Beckinsale Gives Hopeful Update After Mysterious Hospitalization

As we know from her February Instagram post revealing her cancer, Olivia’s assessment came back at a high-risk 37.3 percent, so her doctor sent her to get an MRI, ultrasound, and biopsy. That’s when she found out the devastating news: bilateral breast cancer.

Tough Choices

After being diagnosed, Olivia had to decide whether to undergo a lumpectomy, which could leave her risk for future breast cancer “incredibly high,” or to go for the full double mastectomy.

Either way, all this meant having to put her career on hold! The 43-year-old noted she was supposed to begin shooting a sci-fi flick in Germany in just two weeks from the time of her diagnosis, but obviously plans had to change:

“You realize cancer doesn’t care who you are; it doesn’t care if you have a baby or if you don’t have time. It comes at you, and you have no choice but to face it head-on.”

Within 30 days, though, she decided on and underwent a double mastectomy, a lymph node dissection, and a nipple delay. That last one is not a necessity health-wise, but it means the nipples can be saved in the mastectomy — which she’s “glad” she did and credits her “amazing doctors” for:

“I want to give myself the best shot of keeping the parts of me that I can keep.”

How wild. Just 30 days prior she believed she was a healthy woman — then a month later underwent THREE surgeries… And “nothing” could have prepared her for her new physical appearance:

“There’s so much information, and you’re making these huge decisions for the rest of your life. I really tried to be prepared, but the truth is that nothing could prepare me for what I would feel like, what it would look like and how I would handle it emotionally. It was a lot tougher than I expected.”

That’s so heartbreaking. What a whirlwind time.

The Aftermath

When she awoke from her operations, she said her chest was bandaged and that she had expanders where her breasts once were. But even though it may have been a difficult sight to adjust to, she said she felt like she made the “right decision.” That instinct was confirmed when doctors told her they found a “tangerine-sized” ductal carcinoma in situ while operating on her right breast. She knew she’d made the right call then:

“Hearing that news gave me peace that I’d made the right decision.”

After going through the major surgery, Olivia said she wanted to give her body — and her mind — time to heal before undergoing her fourth operation — reconstructive breast surgery. And she didn’t share a peep of her health condition online while healing:

“Keeping it private for as long as I did allowed me time to fight without any outside noise at all.”

We’re glad she found a way to heal.

By the time fall came around, Olivia was ready for her fourth and final surgery — the reconstructive. But for her breast augmentation the former model decided to “go smaller” this time. She told the outlet:

“I know a lot of women want to go bigger, but [I said] go smaller. It’s so important to say what you want out loud — and don’t stop. Even as the anesthesia was making its way into my body, the last thing I said was ‘Please go smaller.’”

Good advice for everyone out there! Make your intentions as clear as you can while you can! Because once you’re out, you’re out!

Early Menopause

Thankfully, the major surgery prevented her from having to undergo chemo or radiation therapy, but she did start up on hormone suppression therapy to reduce her risk of cancer in the future. And because of that, she revealed she’s now experiencing medically-induced menopause:

“I’m constantly thinking it’s hot, my hair is thinning, and I’m tired a lot.”

But through every step of her journey, John has been right by her side:

“It would’ve felt like climbing an iceberg without him. I don’t think he had a moment to himself, between being an incredibly hands-on father and going to and from the hospital — taking Malcolm to the park, putting him to nap, driving to Cedars-Sinai, hanging out with me, going home, putting Malcolm to bed, coming back to me. And he did it all happily.”

That’s so sweet.

She added:

“I feel grateful that I was given the opportunity to fight.”

A major part of The Predator star’s gratitude comes from her commitment to being healthy for her son, who’s done wonders to help her mind heal after her traumatic year:

“When I’m with him, it’s the only time my brain doesn’t think about being sick. I’m just so happy with him. And it puts a lot of stuff into perspective. Because if my body changes, I’m still his mom. If I have hot flashes, I’m still his mom. If I lose my hair, I’m still his mom. That’s really what matters the most to me. I get to be here for him.”

Olivia is such an incredibly strong woman. See more from her emotional interview (below):

Our hearts are with her always! Share your support in the comments down below.

[Images via Olivia Munn/Instagram]

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Apr 17, 2024 13:01pm PDT