10 Famous People with Skin Cancer

by Eileen Bailey Health Writer

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 1 in 5 Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their life; nearly 800,000 Americans have a history of melanoma and 13 million have a history of non-melanoma skin cancer. As with all illness, celebrities are not immune to skin cancer.

Some Famous people who have had skin cancer:

Ryan O'Neal had a small melanoma on his nose in April 2012. O'Neal has been in remission for chronic myelogenus leukemia for 11 years and was also diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier in 2012. "I'm not defeated," he says. [1]

John McCain, a senator from Arizona, had surgery in 1993 to remove a melanoma on his left arm. In 2000, he had additional surgery to remove two melanomas, one on his left arm and one on his temple.

William Macy disclosed his skin cancer on the show Live In January 2012 when he walked onto the set with a band-aid on his nose covering where he had a basal-cell carcinoma removed.
According to Macy, "I'm Scots/Irish heritage and that's what I get for spending a misspent youth in Georgia with no sunscreen." [2]

Michelle Monaghan, an actress who appears in Machine Gun Preacher, talked about skin cancer for the November 2011 issue of Health Magazine. Several years before, she had a mole, which was cancerous, removed from the back of her calf.

Ewan McGregor, an actor known for his roles in the Star Wars prequels, had a cancerous mole removed from under his eye several years ago. During an interview with the BBC he said he knew that his fair skin and having spent time in the sun put him at risk for skin cancer and he felt it was better to get checked as soon as possible.

Ronald Reagan, actor and President of the United States, had skin cancer surgically removed in 1987.

Melanie Griffith underwent surgery to remove the early stages of skin cancer from her face in 2009.

Brooke Shields had a precancerous spot on her face removed in 2009. She stopped tanning years ago and told People Magazine, "You think that because you're not in the sun anymore, it's all in the past. And then something like that crops up and you're made aware of how dangerous it really can be." [3]

Troy Aikman was diagnosed with malignant melanoma and has a mole surgically removed in 1998. He was given a 100 percent chance of surviving by his doctor.

Anderson Cooper, in 2008, had a small spot of skin cancer removed from under his left eye, according to his blog.


"Anderson's View: On the Road with Obama," 2008, March 19, Anderson Coupon, ac360blogs.cnn.com

[3] "Brooke Shields Reveals Skin Cancer Scare," 2009, May 22, Alexis Chiu, People Magazine

[2] "Macy Gets Skin Cancer Removed," 2012, Jan. 3, Staff Writer, Toronto Sun

"McGregor Fine After Cancer Scare," 2008, April 22, Staff Writer, BBC

"Melanie Griffith Has Skin Cancer Surgery," 2009, Dec. 18, CNN

"Michelle Monaghan Opens Up About Skin Cancer Diagnosis," 2011, Oct. 19, Staff Writer, US Weekly Magazine

[1] "O'Neal on Skin, Prostate Cancers: 'I'm Not Defeated'" 2012, April 30, USA Today

"Surviving Skin Cancer," 2008, Feb, 19, Sarah Kliff, The Daily Beast

"The Long Road Back," 1998, June 8, Michael Silver, Sports Illustrated

Eileen Bailey
Meet Our Writer
Eileen Bailey

Eileen Bailey is an award-winning author of six books on health and parenting topics and freelance writer specializing in health topics including ADHD, Anxiety, Sexual Health, Skin Care, Psoriasis and Skin Cancer. Her wish is to provide readers with relevant and practical information on health conditions to help them make informed decisions regarding their health care.