Ann Romney & 5 Other Powerful Women Who Bravely Battled Breast Cancer (PHOTOS)

Maressa Brown | Aug 30, 2012 Healthy Living

ann romney speaks about cancerIn her ongoing meet-and-greet with the American people, the Republican "FLOTUS nominee" Ann Romney has been an open book about her many health challenges. In addition to facing several miscarriages and being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Romney was also diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. Thankfully, she has been cancer-free since undergoing a lumpectomy the same year.

Like Romney, quite a few very prominent, powerful women have fought the disease -- and then fought for greater awareness of it. Here, five other brave women in politics who battled breast cancer ...

Image via CafeMomStudios/YouTube

  • Ann Romney


    GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's wife, Ann Romney, was diagnosed with a non-invasive form of breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ in 2008. Having undergone a lumpectomy December of the same year, Ann has remained cancer-free ever since. 

  • Elizabeth Edwards


    Image via Tony Fischer/Flickr

    In addition to standing by her husband John Edwards' side while he ran for VP, the late Elizabeth Edwards was a lawyer, best-selling author, and a health care activist. She actually discovered a lump in her breast while on the campaign trail in 2004, and the day John Kerry conceded to George W. Bush, Edwards was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. After a valiant battle with the disease, the brave would-be "Mom-in-Chief" passed away at the age of 61 in 2010.

  • Nancy Reagan


    Image via dbking/Flickr

    In 1987, the then-First Lady was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy on her left breast. Years later, in 1994, the Los Angeles-area Simi Valley Hospital named its breast cancer center after Nancy.

  • Gloria Steinem


    Image via Mindy Kittay/Flickr


    In 1986, feminist icon Gloria Steinem was diagnosed with breast cancer. In 1998, she told New York magazine that getting cancer was a sign for her to slow down, being that she had gotten rundown from working on women's rights issues. Steinem said, "A movement person has much more work than a member of Congress, and no staff, really. In a way, a movement is like a campaign that never ends."

  • Sandra Day O'Connor


    Image via


    As the first woman on the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor broke boundaries in many ways. When she was 58 years old, in 1988, Justice O'Connor was diagnosed with breast cancer, underwent surgery, and returned to court just one week later. Upon retiring in 2005, O'Connor said, "[Breast cancer] made me value each and every day ... more than ever before."

  • Debbie Wasserman-Schultz


    Image via Veni Markovski/Flickr

    DNC Chair and Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz battled breast cancer between 2008-2009. Soon thereafter, she moved to put legislation in action that would create a national media and education campaign aimed at 15- to 39-year-old women. She's undergone seven major surgeries, including a double mastectomy, all while being a mom, congresswman, and a chief fundraiser for House Democrats.

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