Kathy Bates opens up about double mastectomy and the painful condition that followed

Bates was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003 and breast cancer in 2012, resulting in a double mastectomy.

Kathy Bates sat down with Kelly Clarkson earlier this week to discuss her upcoming film “Richard Jewell,” her duality in Hollywood when it comes to her comedic and dramatic roles, and a health issue that is near and dear to the actress’ heart.

On Tuesday’s episode of “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” Clarkson pointed out that like her character in “Richard Jewell,” Bates has gone through hardships in her life as well, including two cancer diagnoses.

Bates confirmed that she had ovarian cancer in 2003 and then breast cancer in 2012, followed by a double mastectomy. In the same breath, the 71-year-old actress and director gave advice to women to stay on top of their health.

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“By the way, the BRCA (BReast CAncer) gene ⁠— I’m sure a lot of you ladies have heard of it⁠ — I tested negative and so, ain’t a get out of jail free card,” she told the audience and viewers watching at home. “I just wanna put that out there.”

There are two different BRCA genes ⁠— BRCA1 and BRCA2 ⁠— that can impact somebody’s chances of developing breast cancer, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. These genes do not cause breast cancer but will play a role in preventing it as tumor suppressor genes. It is when the BRCA genes become mutated that they become ineffective and can lead to diagnosis at a young age.

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