Celebrities with cancer - victims and survivors
Kathy Bates - ovarian and breast cancer survivor
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Kathy Bates - ovarian and breast cancer survivor

Actress Kathy Bates kept her fight against ovarian cancer secret for over five years.

Diagnosed in 2003 she battled the illness alone and was finally convinced to go public in 2009.

'I even got to the point where I didn’t go with my friends to chemo. I went by myself. I just had to really to do it on my own,' Bates told TODAY show hosts in January 2009.

She has since filmed a public announcement about the illness to help spread awareness.

'I’ve decided to share my story and maybe help other women, because early detection is the key in this kind of cancer,' she said, 'It saved my life.'

In 2012, Bates was diagnosed with breast cancer, and had a double mastectomy. After months of silence, she tweeted in September:

"Hey All, sorry for the long silence. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 months ago and am recovering from a double mastectomy... I don't miss my breast's as much as I miss Harry's Law ;-) Thanks for all the sweet tweets. Y'all keep me going."

Image:Kathy Bates, 2010 © Admedia/SIPA

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