Julia Louis-Dreyfus Uses Breast Cancer Announcement to Lobby for Change


Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, star of the HBO show “Veep,” and formerly of “Seinfeld” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” has announced that she has breast cancer.

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, star of the HBO show “Veep,” and formerly of “Seinfeld” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” has announced that she has breast cancer.

She released the news via social media accounts on Sept. 28, less than two weeks after she won her sixth straight Emmy Award for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for her role in “Veep” as Selina Meyer.

“1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one,” she wrote. “The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union. The bad news is that not all women are that lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality.”

Louis-Dreyfus did not release details about the subtype or stage of her breast cancer, or about planned treatment.

Friends responded with messages of support. They included Jason Alexander, with whom she starred on “Seinfeld;” Lena Dunham, creator of the TV show “Girls;” former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden; and other survivors of breast cancer, including singer Sheryl Crow and actress Christina Applegate.

"We admire Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ willingness to share her diagnosis and increase awareness of breast cancer using her significant platform. As mentioned in her post, all women have at least a 12 percent risk of getting breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. That means that on average, 1 in 8 women in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer. It is the leading cancer diagnosis in women. But when diagnosed at an early stage, the five-year survival rate of breast cancer can be greater than 98 five. In order to detect cancer at an early, non-life-threatening stage, women need to know their bodies, know their normal, and know the symptoms of breast cancer. Bright Pink exists to empower women to do so, not just in October, but 365 days a year," Katie Thiede, CEO of Bright Pink, said.

Thiede also emphasized the importance of practicing breast self-awareness, and understanding what is normal for your own breasts, and what is not. She said that 80 percent of breast cancers in young women are first self-discovered and then confirmed by their health care team. Bright Pink established Breast Health Reminders™, a text-message service that reminds women to check their breasts and outlines some signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

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