African American Celebrities and Breast Cancer

In honor of Black History Month, Susan G. Komen San Diego pays tribute to inspirational African American women and men of recent history who battled breast cancer.


Wanda Sykes, the award winning comedian and actress had a double mastectomy when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011.

Robin Roberts, 
co-anchor of Good Morning America was diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer in 2007. She had eight chemotherapy treatments and 6 1/2 weeks of radiation treatment.

Diahann Carroll
, is known for her role on Grey’s Anatomy and much more. She was diagnosed with breast cancer later in life at age 63.  She is a major advocate for breast health in the African American community.

Patti LaBelle lost three sisters to breast cancer and although she wasn’t diagnosed herself – she represents the many families who are also survivors of this disease.

Richard Roundtree
 known for his role as the private detective, John Shaft, in the film Shaft was among the one percent of men diagnosed with breast cancer.

Naomi Sims was the world’s first Black supermodel and passed away from breast cancer in 2009.

Hattie McDaniel was the first African American actress to win an Oscar in 1940 and passed away from breast cancer at the age of 57 in 1952.

Please e-mail us if you know of other individuals you’d like to see us add to this list!
[Resource: © 2014 BET Interactive, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Black Entertainment Television LLC.0]

Read African Americans and Breast Cancer

Ruby Dee

Vanessa Bell Calloway

Bershan Shaw

Zoleka Mandela Nelson Mandela 

Nina Simone 

Hoda Kotb

Minnie Riperton

[Resource: © TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance]


Please email Annie Eddey if you would like to see anyone else added to this honorable list!