Actress Cynthia Nixon, best known for her role as the dark-humored and lovably caustic Miranda in Sex and the City, was diagnosed with breast cancer during a routine exam in 2006. She was able to avoid chemotherapy after undergoing a lumpectomy and radiation, and continues to take Tamoxifen and adheres to a healthy lifestyle (she’s a big proponent of juicing). Though she initially kept this private, she went public with the news in 2008 during an interview with Good Morning America.
Her experience also wove its way into her professional in creative life in 2012, when she took on the lead role in Wit, Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a woman self-documenting her battle with ovarian cancer. She believes taking on the role was less intimidating than it could have been because of her experience.
“I feel that between my experience and my mother’s, breast cancer is a little bit like someone who lives next door,” she told the New York Times. “I know what that person looks like and what their daily habits are. I mean, I get my ultrasounds and stuff, so I think I’m less scared than if I didn’t do that.”
Sadly, the actress’s own mother recently lost her third battle with breast cancer. Nixon has since gone on to become a vocal, articulate advocate for the cause, speaking out about the critical role of regular mammograms and stressing the importance of women becoming active participants in their treatment if they are diagnosed.