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Olivia Munn says breast cancer led her to medically induced menopause

The actor has also endured four surgeries and a double mastectomy since her diagnosis a year ago.
Olivia Munn says breast cancer led her to medically induced menopause
Posted at 1:06 PM, Apr 18, 2024

Actor Olivia Munn is getting more candid about her breast cancer journey. 

Since her diagnosis a year ago, Munn has endured four surgeries, a double mastectomy and is being put through medically induced menopause, she said in People magazine's cover story

"I'm basically on a treatment of suppressing all of my hormones. So I will go into menopause, and I will shut down all of the hormones in my tissues, and my ovaries, everything that's shut down," she told People. 

"[That's] more problems, but I figured as a woman, I can't escape menopause, so I'd rather just bring it on now," she said "I can tackle it head on." 

The decision made with her doctors to induce menopause came after Munn's double mastectomy. The actress said seeing herself for the first time after that procedure was a "shock to my system." 

"Nothing could prepare me for what it would feel like. What it would look like. How I would handle it emotionally. It was a lot tougher than I expected," said Munn. 

At the same time, Munn expressed gratitude for the ability to have a double mastectomy and for the opportunity to fight. She is focused on staying present. 

"For the first time in my life, I'm not thinking about the past, and I'm not thinking about the future. I'm just thinking about today," Munn said. 

"I'm really happy that I can just be here today — right now," she said. 

Before Munn's diagnosis, her mammogram had come back clear and she had also around that time tested negative for the BRCA cancer gene.

But then a gynecologist recommended she figure out her lifetime breast cancer score. Her doctor used a free online assessment tool to calculate Munn's score. Anything above 20% is considered high risk, and minutes later, Munn found out she scored an alarming 37.3%. This prompted further testing.

An MRI and subsequent ultrasound led to Munn's diagnosis of bilateral breast cancer, after luminal B, a rare and aggressive cancer, was found in both breasts, according to People. 

Now, Munn's mission is to raise awareness about breast cancer. Her 2-year-old son helps keep her strong. 

"When I'm with him, it's the only time my brain doesn't think about being sick. I'm just so happy with him. And it puts a lot of stuff into perspective. Because if my body changes, I'm still his mom. If I have hot flashes, I'm still his mom. If I lose my hair, I'm still his mom. That's really what matters the most to me. I get to be here for him," she said. 

Each year in the U.S., about 240,000 women and 2,100 men are diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

SEE MORE: Olivia Munn diagnosed with breast cancer, had double mastectomy

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