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Olivia Munn Details ‘Aggressive’ Breast Cancer and Consequent Hysterectomy

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Olivia Munn Details ‘Aggressive’ Breast Cancer and Consequent Hysterectomy featured image
MICHAEL TRAN / Getty Images

Olivia Munn has opened up about her breast cancer treatment journey. In an interview with Vogue, the 43-year-old actress revealed that she recently underwent a hysterectomy and oophorectomy to stop estrogen production that was feeding the cancer, bravely confronting the stark reality that she can no longer carry children.

Reflecting on the emotional toll of her surgeries, Munn shared, “I did have one real moment of panic. A real breakdown. Because it’s just so strange when you’ve been with this body your entire life, had your period for so long, feel when you’re ovulating, and all of a sudden it’s gone.” 

Before the surgeries, Munn and her partner, John Mulaney, took steps to preserve her fertility, successfully securing two healthy embryos through egg retrievals. As described by Vogue, Munn’s medical team followed a specialized cancer protocol during the egg retrieval process to mitigate the risk of stimulating cancer cell growth. “It was just so exciting because not only did we get it in one retrieval, but it also meant that I didn’t have to keep putting myself at risk,” she said. “It was just amazing.”

Now, she has a realistic yet optimistic outlook on her family’s future. “There’s nothing I can do,” she stated. “I don’t have the ability to carry a baby anymore, so if we want to build our family, this is our option. This journey has made me realize how grateful I am to have options for not only fighting cancer, but also having more children if we want, because I know a lot of people don’t have those options.”

Munn revealed her breast cancer diagnosis via Instagram on March 13. In her post, she shared that she was diagnosed in the spring of 2023 and has had four surgeries over the past 10 months.

The winter prior, Munn had taken a genetic test that checks for 90 different cancer genes—she tested negative for all. Around the same time, she also had a normal mammogram. She credits her OBGYN for catching the cancer early and saving her life.

“I wouldn’t have found my cancer for another year—at my next scheduled mammogram—except that my OBGYN, Dr. Thais Aliabadi, decided to calculate my Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Score. The fact that she did saved my life,” writes Munn. The doctor examined factors like age, familial breast cancer history and the fact that Munn had her first child after the age of 30. “She discovered my lifetime risk was at 37 percent. Because of that score, I was sent to get an MRI, which led to an ultrasound, which led to a biopsy. The biopsy showed I had Luminal B cancer in both breasts. Luminal B is an aggressive, fast-moving cancer.”

Following the biopsy, Munn had a double mastectomy and reconstruction. “I went from feeling completely fine one day to waking up in a hospital bed after a 10-hour surgery the next.” Munn wants her story to help other women, urging them to ask their doctor to calculate their Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Score. According to Dr. Aliabadi, if the number is greater than 20 percent, you should receive annual mammograms and breast MRIs starting at age 30.

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