Olivia Munn's Breast Cancer Has Been 'Tougher' Than Expected


Olivia Munn recently got candid about her “terrifying” battle with breast cancer, which she said has been much “tougher” than she thought it would be emotionally and physically.

“There’s so much information, and you’re making these huge decisions for the rest of your life,” the actress, 43, told People in an interview published on Wednesday, April 17. “I really tried to be prepared, but the truth is that nothing could prepare me for what I would feel like, what it would look like and how I would handle it emotionally. It was a lot tougher than I expected.”

Olivia revealed in a March 13 Instagram post that, after testing negative for “90 different cancer genes,” she was diagnosed with an “aggressive” form of bilateral breast cancer in April 2023. This ultimately led her to undergo four surgeries, a double mastectomy and medically induced menopause.

“I went from feeling completely fine one day, to waking up in a hospital bed after a 10-hour surgery the next,” she wrote in her post. “I’m lucky. We caught it with enough time that I had options. I want the same for any woman who might have to face this one day.”

Olivia told People that the most frightening part of her diagnosis was thinking about her son Malcolm, 2, whom she shares with partner John Mulaney.

“I was not someone who obsessed over death or was afraid of it in any way,” she said. “[But] having a little baby at home made everything much more terrifying.”

The Violet star later added, “You realize cancer doesn’t care who you are; it doesn’t care if you have a baby or if you don’t have time. It comes at you, and you have no choice but to face it head-on.”

Lionel Hahn/Getty Images

Before her double mastectomy, Olivia underwent a lymph node dissection and a nipple delay procedure, a surgery that spares the nipples. She explained that she wanted to “give myself the best shot of keeping the parts of me that I can keep.”

The actress revealed that she wanted to keep her battle private for as long as possible so that she could “fight without any outside noise at all.”

Now experiencing hot flashes, hair thinning and fatigue as a result of hormone suppression therapy, which she began in November 2023, Olivia gushed over how much John, 41, has helped her through it all. The two started dating in 2021.

“It would’ve felt like climbing an iceberg without him,” she told People. “I don’t think he had a moment to himself, between being an incredibly hands-on father and going to and from the hospital — taking Malcolm to the park, putting him to nap, driving to Cedars-Sinai, hanging out with me, going home, putting Malcolm to bed, coming back to me. And he did it all happily.”

After Olivia revealed her diagnosis on Instagram, John publicly showed his support for his partner in a comment. “Thank you for fighting so hard to be here for us,” he wrote, making fans gush. “Malc and I adore you.”

Las Vegas News Magazine

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