Sun & Skin News

Celebrities and Skin Cancer – They’re Just Like Us

By Skin Cancer Foundation • August 28, 2017
Hollywood sign

US Weekly has become famous for its “Stars – They’re Just Like Us” feature. The column includes photos of celebrities in their daily lives, being “normal” people. They catch them in the act of everyday tasks like grocery shopping, eating pizza and, gasp, even pumping their own gas!

Given the prevalence of skin cancer in the United States, it’s not surprising that so many celebrities have had the disease. In fact, one out of every five Americans is going to get skin cancer. In our very own “Just Like Us” feature, we share ten celebrities you may not realize have had the world’s most common cancer.

Hugh Jackmanjackman_skincancer
Perhaps best known for his portrayal of Wolverine in the X-Men movies, the Australian actor has publicly shared his skin cancer struggles with fans. Jackman has had six skin cancers removed in recent years and has regularly taken to social media to remind his fans of the importance of sun protection and regular skin exams. 

Diane Keaton
The Oscar-winning actress was diagnosed with the most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma (BCC), at the young age of 21. Several years ago, she was diagnosed with the second most common form of the disease, squamous cell carcinoma. Keaton encourages her fans to practice proper sun protection and has spoken openly about her family’s history with the disease (both her father and brother have had BCCs removed).

Khloe Kardashian
The reality star has been vocal about her skin cancer experiences. In a recent meeting with Hollywood medium Tyler Henry, she reported that she has had two skin cancers removed (one of which was a melanoma on her back) and that she gets skin exams every three months. Kardashian has shared the ABCDEs with her social media followers and encourages regular skin checks.

Donal Logue
donal-logue-skin-cancerThe actor, producer and writer who has stared in “Sons of Anarchy” and “Vikings” was diagnosed with a squamous cell carcinoma on his forehead in 2014. While his doctor successfully removed the cancer after two rounds of surgery, the actor has said that he is at very high risk of another. In reflecting on the experience Logue said: “Today, when I check my face in the mirror for new growths, I wish I could shake that young boy I once was, running around under the hot, desert sun without protection, for doing such ineradicable damage to his future skin.”

Melanie Griffith
Several years ago, the American actress caused concern among fans when she was spotted with a black eye. She later revealed that this was the result of a skin cancer removal procedure.

Andy Cohen
Just last year, the popular talk show host, author and producer announced he had a melanoma on his lip removed after celebrity friend Kelly Ripa had urged him to have a suspicious spot checked out. The former self-proclaimed “tanorexic” has said the experience changed his relationship with the sun.

bob-marley-skin-cancerBob Marley
When a dark spot appeared under the Jamaican musician’s toenail, Marley attributed it to a recent soccer injury. The spot turned out to be a form of skin cancer called acral lentiginous melanoma that often becomes aggressive because it is detected later than other melanomas. The loss of this legend serves as a powerful reminder that anyone, regardless of race or ethnicity, can be affected by skin cancer.

Ewan McGregor
The Scottish-born actor caused quite a stir in 2008 when he had a birthmark removed from his forehead, leading to speculation that he had a cosmetic procedure done. McGregor later set the record straight and explained that his doctor removed several suspicious lesions for testing. One, below the actor’s eye, was indeed skin cancer.

Anderson Cooper
While covering the 2008 election, the popular journalist made headlines when he appeared on the air with a black eye and bandage. Cooper warned viewers before the broadcast that he had a minor procedure to remove a skin cancer that luckily hadn’t spread.

Witney Carson
The “Dancing with the Stars” phenom was just 22 years of age when she discovered a melanoma on her foot. Carson, whose father had melanoma, has been vocal in advocating for regular skin exams and the importance of early detection. Last year, she shared her powerful story at our Champions for Change Gala in NYC.

Regardless of whether you have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame or have never set foot in Tinseltown, everyone is at risk for skin cancer. These celebrities’ stories serve as a great reminder of the importance of daily protection and the need for regular skin exams. If you have yet to schedule your annual check-up with your dermatologist, we encourage you to do so today. When it comes to your skin health, there is no time like the present!