On Thursday, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced via Twitter that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Just 11 days after accepting her sixth straight Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, the “Veep” star shared her diagnosis with the world.
“1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one,” she wrote.
“The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union,” she added. “The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality.”
Each year, an estimated 231,840 U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and more than 40,000 will die. Early detection plays a huge role in reducing that number.
Breast cancer accounts for the second-most cancer-related deaths in U.S. women behind only lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Regular screenings — self-checks and with a doctor — can aid in catching the cancer at its most treatable point, early on.
In her call to action, Louis-Dreyfus sounds optimistic, urging her followers to keep fighting so that others have access to the same care she’ll be able to receive. While recent efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act have fallen flat, we are far from having “universal health care.” 11% of women ages 19 to 64 in the U.S. don’t have any form of health insurance. While that number has fallen since the ACA’s implementation, it still means that millions of women are unable to access preventive care.
Thanks to a number of health centers around the country, such as Planned Parenthood, low-income and uninsured women aren’t left completely out in the cold. Unfortunately, these groups are frequently under attack from political opponents.
Louis-Dreyfus’s decision to share her diagnosis with her fans serves as a reminder that any of us can be hit by illness at any time — making the fight for universal care that much more important.
It’s never a bad time to call your members of Congress and let them know that you want to live in a world where everybody has access to the same care she has.
We wish Louis-Dreyfus the absolute best of luck going forward.
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