X-Men Star Olivia Munn Shares Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Undergoes Double Mastectomy

Olivia Munn bravely revealed she was battling an “aggressive” form of breast cancer, candidly sharing her diagnosis and recovery journey while urging others to prioritize proactive health measures and explaining how to get an early prognosis.

Taking to her Instagram account last night (Wednesday, March 13), the 43-year-old actress posted a carousel of photos showing herself in hospital gowns as well as a video of her shedding tears from a hospital bed alongside a healthcare worker.

Olivia captioned the post: “I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I hope by sharing this it will help others find comfort, inspiration, and support on their own journey.”

Amongst the pictures shared, the X-Men star included a text note shedding more light on her health, explaining that it had all started in February of last year when she had decided to take a genetic test checking for “90 different cancer genes” in an effort to be “proactive about her health.”

Olivia Munn disclosed her battle with an aggressive form of breast cancer, advocating for proactive health measures

Image credits: oliviamunn

She wrote: “I tested negative for all including BRCA.”

BRCA refers to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer when mutated.

The gene was made famous by Angelina Jolie, who underwent a preventive double mastectomy in 2013 after discovering she carried a mutation in the BRCA1 gene.

Olivia continued: “My sister Sara had just tested negative as well”

“We called each other and high-fived over the phone. 

“That same winter I also had a normal mammogram.

“Two months later I was diagnosed with breast cancer.”

The Oklahoma native recalled spending the past 10 months undergoing four surgeries, learning more about cancer, cancer treatment, and hormones “than [she] ever could have imagined.”

Olivia and her sister both tested negative for the BRCA gene mutations, known for increasing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer

Image credits: oliviamunn

Olivia admitted: “Surprisingly, I’ve only cried twice. 

“I guess I haven’t felt like there was time to cry. 

“My focus narrowed and I tabled any emotions that I felt would interfere with my ability to stay clearheaded.”

The New Girl actress disclosed choosing to appear energetic and composed in public, keeping her breast cancer diagnosis and recovery journey private until she was ready to share.

Image credits: oliviamunn

Olivia went on to reveal that she wouldn’t have found her cancer for another year until her next scheduled mammogram if it hadn’t been for her obstetrics and gynecology doctor deciding to calculate her breast cancer risk assessment score.

“The fact she did saved my life,” the actress wrote.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (BCRAT), also known as The Gail Model, allows health professionals to estimate a woman’s risk of developing invasive breast cancer over the next five years and up to age 90 (lifetime risk).

The tool uses a woman’s personal medical and reproductive history and the history of breast cancer among her first-degree relatives (mother, sisters, and daughters) to estimate the absolute breast cancer risk chance or probability of developing invasive breast cancer in a defined age interval.

Olivia credited her doctor for saving her life by calculating her breast cancer risk assessment score

Image credits: oliviamunn

As per the National Library of Medicine, the risk, according to the Gail Model, can be classified as low when the score is 15% or lower and high when the score is 30% and higher.

Olivia Munn discovered that her lifetime risk was at 37%, and she was, therefore, sent to get an MRI, “which led to an ultrasound which then led to a biopsy.”

Subsequently, the mother-of-one’s biopsy showed she had Luminal B cancer in both breasts. Mayo Clinic states that the Luminal B cancer type includes tumors that are positive for estrogen receptors, negative for progesterone receptors, and positive for a gene called HER2.

Image credits: oliviamunn

As a result, Luminal B breast cancers are likely to benefit from chemotherapy and may benefit from hormone therapy and treatment targeted to HER2.

“Luminal B is an aggressive, fast-moving cancer,” Olivia said.

The actress went on to reveal that she underwent a double mastectomy, adding: “I went from feeling completely fine one day to waking up in a hospital bed after a 10-hour surgery the next.”

She continued: “I’m lucky. We caught it with enough time I had options.

“I want the same for any woman who might have to face this one day.

“Ask your doctor to calculate your breast cancer risk assessment score.”

Olivia’s breast cancer risk assessment score of 37% prompted further screening, leading to the detection of Luminal B cancer in both breasts

Image credits: oliviamunn

Olivia’s heartfelt post was flooded with praise, including from fellow actors.

“Sending you so much love from the depths of my heart, friend. STRONG-ass mama,” Jordan Fisher commented.

Crazy Rich Asians’ Gemma Chan wrote: “Thank you for sharing this. Sending so much love and strength to you.”

Leslie Mann penned: “Thank you for sharing”

Minka Kelly chimed in: “Olivia. Thank you for sharing this and in this way.

“You and your strength and vulnerability in equal measure are so beautiful. Sending you biggest love.”

Rumer Willis added: “Sending you so much love little mama, thank you for sharing your vulnerability and strength.”

Jo Koy also commented:  “You are going to defeat this 100%. Mahal kita Olivia.”

Slumdog Millionaire star Freida Pinto wrote: “You are a warrior Olivia.

“You are saving lives and you are also sending out such an important message about how we as women and mothers need to breathe first before we pour our feelings and thoughts into the world.

“Thank you thank you.”

Olivia’s post ignited more support from people on social media and that is another lesson: Always give your support. It’s free and it motivates people!