Christina Applegate had a double mastectomy, wants to have a baby

Christina Applegate is shown in stills from her movie with Rainn Wilson, The Rocker
The National Enquirer broke the story of Christina Applegate’s double mastectomy two weeks ago, but I made the decision not to cover it at the time and to wait until the actress made the announcement herself. It just seems like a personal medical condition and one that I wouldn’t want to repeat unless she came out with the news on her own – not that we always take the high road on those type of stories.

Applegate, 36, spoke with fellow breast cancer survivor Robin Roberts on Good Morning America this morning and revealed that she did have a double mastectomy, saying that it was a very tough decision that she ultimately made for her health and to be rid of the disease. Her mother is a two-time breast cancer survivor and Applegate learned she had the breast cancer gene, which influenced her decision to undergo a mastectomy. She will have reconstructive surgery:

Having watched her mother, Nancy Priddy, battle breast cancer – and then suffer from a recurrence many years later – the Emmy-nominated star of Samantha Who?, 36, told interviewer Robin Roberts that she wasn’t taking any chances, especially since she has the breast cancer gene, BRCA1.

“My decision, after looking at all the treatment plans that were possibilities for me, the only one that seemed the most logical and the one that was going to work for me was to have a bilateral mastectomy,” said Applegate. “So basically I had a prophylactic double mastectomies.”

Explaining her rationale in taking that dramatic step, she said, “I didn’t want to go back to the doctors every four months for testing and squishing and everything. I just wanted to kind of be rid of this whole thing for me. This was the choice that I made, and it was a tough one.”

The surgery took place three weeks ago. She did not undergo radiation or chemotherapy.

Applegate, whose initial reaction when she received her diagnosis, was. “Oh my god. I was so pissed off, so mad … I was just shaking.” But then, she said, “Immediately I had to go into take-care-of-business mode.”

Asked her prognosis, Applegate told Roberts, also a cancer survivor, “I’m clear. Absolutely 100-percent clear and clean.”

Over the next eight months she will undergo reconstructive surgery. I’m gonna have cute boobs till I’m 90,” she quipped, as Roberts pointed out how Applegate’s sense of humor has helped the actress endure the ordeal.


Now that Applegate has announced that she had a double mastectomy, I don’t feel bad about repeating other gossip about her. The Enquirer reports in their latest issue that she made the decision not to undergo chemotherapy in order to be able to have a baby. Chemotherapy can cause women to be infertile by stopping ovulation. Applegate is dating 39 year-old Martyn Lenoble, a bass player from Holland. He is said to have been incredibly supportive during her cancer diagnosis and treatment, accompanying to the hospital and being there for her. Applegate wants to have a baby as soon as possible, according to the Enquirer:

Christina decided to opt out of the chemotherapy regimen because it can permanently stop ovulation, leaving her infertile, according to an insider. However, another leading medical expert says Christina is making a smart decision.

Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Yale University told The Enquirer she thinks Christina’s decision to refuse chemotherapy is “absolutely reasonable.”

“I think sometimes breast cancer patients are overtreated to make sure that the cancer is cured. I applaud this, but I think that oncologists should assess the needs of the patient as well.”

Christina now plans to conceive a baby with her boyfriend, musician Martyn Lenoble, 39, as soon as possible. If necessary, after giving birth, she may have to evaluate further treatment options.

“A baby is the most important thing in the world to her right now,” said the insider. Having a baby is her dream.”

[From The National Enquirer, print edition, August 25, 2008]

As JayBird reported earlier today, Applegate is cancer-free and doctors are confident that they removed all the cancer. Maybe she’ll be able to have a child soon if this news that she’s hoping for a baby is true. She deserves a lot of credit for making that very difficult choice to get a double mastectomy and for talking publicly about it. Her story will surely help other women battling cancer along with those who may be able to catch it early as she did.

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26 Responses to “Christina Applegate had a double mastectomy, wants to have a baby”

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  1. KattyBitch says:

    Good for her! I really like Christina and love that she is doing well and is talking about a tramatic time without making it Dramatic. She’s one that I want to see having kids!

  2. wow says:

    I had a major life altering surgery as a teenager. Nothing was amputated but my body was forever changed. Now, years later, I wish I had done more research and pursued more holistic means of treatment. Plus, the surgery I had is now considered radical. I feel for Christine – what a tough, tough choice to make. Glad she has a supportive guy by her side.

  3. daisy424 says:

    Christina, you’re a brave woman.

    Why doesn’t she freeze her eggs ❓

    I would rather be safe than sorry, as far as the chemo goes. She would want to still be around to raise that future baby.

  4. geronimo says:

    Really wish her well and hope all goes to plan on the baby-making front. It’s a really harsh outcome but not as harsh as the constant worry of a recurrence and/or an early death. Major kudos to her for talking about it publicly.

  5. Nikki G. says:

    i’ve always loved christina. she seems very real to me. she is definitely going to help alot of young women with her story. i vividly remember when i was younger hating alyssa milano and loving me some christina… but i digress, good luck and best wishes!

  6. Anna says:

    I’m happy for her about being in the clear now. It is a huge step she decided to take there though and I’m sure it took a lot of courage and strength of will. I hope that she’ll have her wish of having a baby and that she’ll remain cancer-free.

    Good luck to her, she’s very brave.

  7. WTF?!?! says:

    Wow, what an amazing gal. For a “sex symbol” to make an intelligent, brave decision and go public like that is inspiring and will offer a lot of hope to women in her situation.
    I remember Ann Jillian talking about her breast cancer– she was the first to speak publicly about it in-depth, I believe– and she said something to the effect of ‘a pair of breasts can tap dance, they can’t sing, they can’t act, so I wasn’t going to let myself be defined by that.’ Paraphrased, but that always stuck with me.

  8. czarina says:

    A friend of ours was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy…there was no follow-up radiation or chemo and a few years later the cancer was back, in her lymph nodes.
    Our friend was older than CA, so that might have been a factor, but I worry for her about not getting follow up treatment.
    However, she seems like a very smart, self-aware woman and no doubt will have her doctors watching her closely in the future–may she have a long and happy one!

  9. Codzilla says:

    Only the best of luck for Christina from now on. She’s earned it a million times over.

  10. kate says:

    i like her, too – feel better, christina! and cheers to her boyfriend for standing up and being a man. best wishes for them both. if this was not a cancer thread i might be tempted to snark about his silvery pants. but i wouldn’t do that.

  11. javagirl1 says:

    gosh she’s so young. I like how open she’s being about her situation.

  12. Prissa says:


  13. Syko says:

    What a tough thing to go through, and what a great attitude she has!

    My mom was like that, too. Buxom like everyone in the family, she joked with the doctors that they should cut off the other one too, or she’d list to the left. When they told her the swelling would go down after awhile, she joked that she thought she was growing a new boob. Laugh to keep from crying, I guess.

  14. Mairead says:

    What a brave woman – wishing her a speedy recovery.

  15. jaundicemachine says:

    What a brave woman! I applaud her and wish her a fast recovery!

  16. pipsqueak says:

    Bless her heart. May she she have a long and healthy life.

    And thanks CB for not invading her privacy until she was ready to talk about it.

  17. All Adither says:

    “The National Enquirer” and “Broke the Story” should never go together.

  18. Aud says:

    She’s so brave! I love this woman, she seems so down to earth and genuinely nice and caring.

    If she has follow up treatment, I hope its localized radiation and not chemo. Often times, the cancer doesnt kill you, the chemo does.

    My husband is a 4 times cancer survivor and never had a drop of chemo, only localized.

  19. Shane says:

    I had thyroid cancer (that’s in your neck below your voice box) and never any chemo or radiation, just removal of the thyroid gland.

    Some doctors promote also doing radiation, some don’t. About a 50/50 split in the thyroid cancer world, depending on the stage when it’s caught (mine was caught early).

    And, the radiation (radioactive iodine, to be exact) can cause bladder cancer later, and destroy your saliva glands.

    So glad I only had the surgery and nothing else!

    By the way, 33% of you reading this right now either will have cancer in the future, or already have the beginning stages of cancer and you don’t know it. Just the facts folks!

  20. RAN says:

    Syko, thanks for sharing the story about your mom – sounds like she had a wonderful sense of humor about something that would overwhelm most of us.

    About Christina… I hope the mastectomy takes care of ALL of the cancer. I have always liked this girl – even when she was on Married with Children (guiltily admitting I still watch reruns when they’re on). Obviously I don’t know her, but she just seems so cool and down to earth. Like someone we could all be bff’s with.

  21. Aqua says:

    God bless you, Christina, stick to microbiotics, it works and it saves lives. I’ve seen it work and produce miracles.
    Lots of love and God’s blessings!
    Wish you all the best.

  22. SolitaryAngel says:

    Good for her! Tough decision, and she did what was best for her and her future. I applaud that heartily.

    As a 3-surgery cancer survivor, I understand how awful it is to hear that you have something inside your body that is doing its best to kill you. My cancer was found just a few weeks after the birth of my son (I’d had a miscarriage a few months before I became pregnant with him), and it had been growing inside my womb, right along with my son—no wonder I had bleeding, cramps, dilation, early labor, and the last 3 months were spent in bed taking anti-contraction meds. I thank TPTB every day that my son survived. He’s 19 now, and sometimes he will make an offhand remark about how it was his fault I couldn’t have any more children! I’ve never been able to convince him that it WASN’T his fault, but I’ve told him many times that it was God’s (or TPTB)decision that I only have one baby, and He gave me the best one possible. I hope Christina continues to have great family support through all of this, and I wish her all the luck in the world having her dream babies.

  23. GrnMtGirl says:

    Kudos to Christina. I’ve always liked her. She has an awesome sense of humor and a respectable amount of confidence.

  24. Codzilla says:

    @SolitaryAngel: What an amazing story. I can’t imagine dealing with cancer in the throes of both childbirth and caring for a newborn. So glad your son grew up healthy and happy. You rock.

  25. SolitaryAngel says:

    @ Codzilla: Thanks. That means a lot to me! 😉

  26. Abby says:

    I really admire Christina and envy her optimism. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June of 2008, and had my surgery in July (same time as Christina). My cancer was only in one breast but like her, I decided to have both removed to lessen the chance of it returning. I did have chemo though. My doctor thought since I took the aggressive approach, we should continue in that way. However, its a lot easier for someone like Christina to stay positive. She could afford her surgeries, and the gene test ( I can’t afford to get it) and will always have work and funds. Where as I haven’t worked since July (company closed down while I was out for treatment), can barely afford to care for me, my disabled husband and my animals, let alone pay the over $43,000 in medical bills, but our income is considered too high to get governmental help. So I find it hard to stay positive about anything. I’m so glad Christina will be okay though. And even though nothing is 100%, hopefully her cancer won’t come back, at least not for a long time.