Actress Olivia Munn shares personal ordeal of breast cancer diagnosis and surgical treatments

 March 14, 2024

Hollywood actress Olivia Munn recently shared with her fans and followers some bad news about her health that she had kept secret for the past year.

Munn revealed that she had been diagnosed with an "aggressive" and "fast-moving" form of breast cancer last year and had undergone four surgeries over ten months, including a double mastectomy, or the removal of both breasts, according to the BBC.

The actress made the revelation in a social media post and stated that she is hopeful that sharing her story "will help others find comfort, inspiration, and support on their own journey."

The cancer diagnosis

In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Munn, 43, shared several photos and one video of her in the hospital plus a lengthy statement explaining everything that had occurred over the past year.

It all began in February 2023 with a "proactive" screening for cancer genes that came back negative and a normal mammogram. Unfortunately, just two months later, after receiving a Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Score from her doctor that showed a 37% risk, Munn underwent an MRI followed by an ultrasound and then a biopsy that revealed she had the "aggressive, fast-moving" Luminal B cancer in both breasts, which in turn led to a double mastectomy surgery just 30 days later.

According to The Hill, Luminal B is one of four main types of breast cancer based on genetic markers and is typically fueled by estrogen hormones and includes a growth protein that tends to result in worse and faster-growing tumors than the other types, and is typically treated with chemotherapy, hormone treatments, or surgery.

Munn said in her post that, following her diagnosis, her "focus narrowed" and she set aside her emotions and most everything else to deal with the problem, and further kept the issue largely to herself and a select few others because she "needed to catch my breath and get through some of the hardest parts before sharing."

The actress went on to proclaim herself "lucky" in that the cancer was discovered early enough that she still "had options," and she urged all women to be similarly proactive in obtaining a risk assessment score from their doctor.

Munn's acting career

According to Munn's IMDb page, she was born in Oklahoma in 1980 but grew up overseas in Japan and began acting and modeling at a young age, then moved to Los Angeles after returning to the U.S. to pursue a career in Hollywood.

She has at least 56 acting credits to her name, including voiceover work, and those credits most notably include recurring roles on the TV series "The Newsroom" and "Perfect Couple," as well as her role as Psylocke in "X-Men: Apocalypse."

Munn also has at least 157 credited appearances as herself, typically on various daytime and late-night talk shows, but perhaps most notably as host of the "Attack of the Show!" series on the G4 network and as a correspondent for Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

Special thanks and gratitude for her support team

The BBC noted that Munn has been involved in a years-long romantic relationship with comedian John Mulaney, with whom she shares son Malcolm, 2, and she offered up profuse thanks in her Instagram post to Mulaney for his steadfast support throughout her ordeal, including doing all of the laborious research on various surgical options and medications and for being by her side before and after the surgeries and treatments.

She also thanked her friends who'd had breast cancer or connected her with others who'd dealt with the health issue for also providing support and "guiding me through some of my most uncertain and overwhelming moments."

Munn concluded her revelatory post by expressing how "extremely grateful" she was for the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff who'd cared for her, and highlighted in particular Dr. Thais Aliabadi, the one who'd convinced her to get the risk assessment score that led to the extra testing and discovery of the cancer, and whom she declared to be her "guardian angel."

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