Kate Jackson is well-known for her roles in Charlie’s Angels and James and the Giant Peach. Fans of Jackson may be unaware that she has battled cancer twice.
The 73-year-old actress, nominated for multiple primetime Emmys for her performance in Charlie’s Angels, battled breast cancer twice. In an interview in the 1990s, she stated she was “forced to face” her “personal mortality” during her initial battle with cancer.
Jackson was working on the successful TV show Scarecrow and Mrs. King at the time of her initial diagnosis in January 1987.
Jackson was given the day off work because another member of the cast had the flu, but instead of relaxing for the entire day, she went for a mammogram after having a premonition that morning.
“It was out of the blue, yet obvious,” she recounted her foreboding.
“I got up in bed and said, ‘You have to have a mammogram.’”
Following her instincts, she underwent her first mammogram, an X-ray of the breast that discovered a tiny lump in her left breast.
As a result, she underwent a biopsy to determine whether the cells were malignant.
“It wasn’t a lump,” she said.
“There wasn’t even anything I could feel. It was tiny.”
Despite its size, the biopsy revealed that the tumor was cancerous. She had a lumpectomy four days later to remove it, followed by radiation therapy while she returned to work.
She recovered from her initial attack illness a year later and went on to act in an American sitcom called Baby Boom in 1989.
Unfortunately, two years after her first cancer struggle, the actress detected another clump of cancer cells in her left breast during a routine mammogram.
She recovered from cancer, but the two diagnoses emotionally impacted Jackson.
“The range of emotions you go through is remarkable,” she remarked.
“But, I made a conscious decision to be optimistic. When I had a negative notion, I ignored it.”
A recurrence is the return of cancer after it has been treated, and it may only be detected through follow-up scans.
According to Cancer Research UK, your breast or scar may appear or feel different.
Treatment for a recurrence will depend on what you had previously, but it may involve the removal of the entire breast, known as a mastectomy, according to the charity.
Radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone treatment, and targeted cancer medications may also be used.
Jackson underwent a partial mastectomy and reconstructive plastic surgery in 1989.
“The first thing I heard was good news,” Jackson recalled when she awakened from surgery. Thank god, my lymph nodes were clear. “I was quite fortunate.”