1. Hugh Jackman - Actor and Skin Cancer Survivor
Since first being diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, a non invasive skin cancer, in 2013 Hugh Jackman has had 5 tumours removed. His first tumour was spotted by his wife Deb. He posted this message on Instagram “Deb said to get the mark on my nose checked. Boy, was she right! I had a basal cell carcinoma. Please don't be foolish like me. Get yourself checked. And USE sunscreen.” He makes our list not just for having won his battle with cancer but also for using his personal experience and celebrity status to become an ambassador in promoting skin cancer awareness and the importance of sun protection.
2. George Alagiah - BBC reporter and Bowel Cancer Survivor
George Alagiah, a BBC news presenter, was diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer in April 2014 after he noticed blood in his stools. Seeking medical advice he discovered that the cancer had already spread to his liver and lymphnodes. After 18 months of gruelling cancer treatment he is in remission and just 2 weeks after his final round of treatment was back on our screens presenting the 6 O’Clock news. He has spoken openly about his experience and told reporters earlier in the year “A lot of the material written about cancer deals with the anger many people feel, but I didn’t feel that either. I couldn’t see the point. I came to an acceptance that I was vulnerable, after all, and I also discovered I was a pretty positive person, which doesn’t cure cancer, but it does make the process more manageable.”
3. Laurence Whiteley - Team GB Paralympic Rower and Bone Cancer Survivor
Copyright: Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images
Laurence was just 14 years old when he was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma in his right leg. For most teenagers having to face their own mortality isn’t something that crosses their mind. After having his tumour removed together with his knee joint and parts of his fibula Laurence started swimming as part of his rehabilitation and later moved on to rowing. The same determination and perseverance he used to beat cancer has led to his selection to the GB paralympic rowing team and he will be representing Great Britain at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.
4. Eric Shanteau - Olympic Swimmer and Testicular Cancer Survivor
Aged 24, Eric Shanteau was busy training for a spot on the Beijing 2008 US swimming team when he noticed a lump in his testicle. At the urging of his girlfriend he sought medical advice and just 1 week prior to the Olympic trials the lump was diagnosed as malignant. After having the tumour removed he returned to training and through dedication and hard work has managed to reach the highest echelons of competitive swimming by winning Gold at the 2012 London Olympics. Eric continues to help other cancer sufferers by founding his own ‘Swim For Your Life’ charity event.
5. Rod Stewart - Singer and Thyroid Cancer Survivor
Rod Stewart was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer in 2000 after a routine CAT scan. Having a tumour so close to his vocal cords meant that surgery to remove the cancer could cause changes to his voice. Despite the risks he went ahead with the operation and has since adapted to singing an octave lower to compensate for the effects of the surgery on his voicebox. He has also become a supporter of the City of Hope Foundation which helps seek for cures to many types of cancers. Rod Stewart has told reporters “I want to make people aware of early detection. I was lucky and it makes me want to tell everybody that they should get checked.”
6. Mr T - Actor and Blood Cancer Survivor
Image source: Michael Buckner Getty Images
In 1995 Mr T was removing an earring when he noticed a lump. He visited a dermatologist and a biopsy revealed he had T-Cell lymphoma. Despite treatment his cancer returned 3 times before he finally went into remission. Each time the cancer came back, he kept on fighting, never giving up. In an interview with coping magazine he stated “I pity the fool who just gives up. We all gonna die eventually from something or other, but don’t be a wimp. Put up a good fight. Don’t sit around waiting on death. We can be tough. We can be determined. Go out and have some fun and make death find you! We can be living with cancer, not dying from it. We can be cancer survivors.”