We all know Kate Jackson as the talented actress from famous shows like Charlie’s Angels and James and the Giant Peach. But what many of us may not be aware of is her incredible battle with cancer not once, but twice. At the age of 73, Jackson is a true inspiration, showing us that age is just a number when it comes to strength and resilience.
A Shocking Discovery
In January 1987, while working on the hit TV show Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Jackson had a premonition that something was wrong. Despite being given the day off due to another cast member’s illness, she followed her gut feeling and went for a mammogram. Little did she know that this decision would change her life.
“It was out of the blue, yet obvious,” she recalls. “I got up in bed and said, ‘You have to have a mammogram.’”
Her instincts proved to be right. The mammogram revealed a tiny lump in her left breast, barely noticeable. Despite its size, a biopsy confirmed it was cancerous. Just four days later, she underwent a lumpectomy to remove the tumor, followed by radiation therapy while bravely continuing to work.
A Second Battle
After a year of recovery and starring in the American sitcom Baby Boom, disaster struck again. During a routine mammogram, another cluster of cancer cells was detected in Jackson’s left breast. This news emotionally impacted her, as she had to face the range of emotions that come with such a challenging diagnosis.
But Kate Jackson is not one to give up. Determined to stay positive, she made a conscious decision to focus on optimism. “When I had a negative notion, I ignored it,” she said. This mindset, along with her unwavering strength, helped her face the battle once more.
The Importance of Follow-Up
One thing we can learn from Jackson’s story is the significance of follow-up scans after cancer treatment. A recurrence can happen, and timely detection is crucial. It’s essential to be aware of any changes in your breast or scar, as they may indicate the return of cancer.
Treatment for a recurrence varies, depending on the previous treatment received. It may involve a mastectomy, where the entire breast is removed, or other options like radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone treatment, or targeted cancer medications. In 1989, Jackson underwent a partial mastectomy and reconstructive plastic surgery.
A Remarkable Recovery
When Jackson woke up from surgery, she received the best news she could hope for. Her lymph nodes were clear, meaning the cancer had not spread further. She felt incredibly fortunate and grateful for this positive outcome in her battle against cancer.
Kate Jackson’s story is one of resilience, courage, and determination. Despite facing cancer not once but twice, she never gave up hope. Her optimism and strength inspire us all, regardless of our age, to face life’s challenges with a positive mindset and an unwavering spirit.