Olivia Munn has opened up about her breast cancer diagnosis

Olivia Munn attends the Academy Awards in 2017
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Olivia Munn is one of the most talked-about women in the world, with the internet still raving about her custom Fendi look at this week's Oscars, where Munn attended with partner, comedian John Mulaney.

Just days after her public appearance however, the Hollywood actress took to social media to make a statement, revealing that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and sharing her journey on Instagram.

"I was diagnosed with breast cancer," the 43-year-old posted to social media, alongside a series of photographs and her statement. "I hope by sharing this it will help others find comfort, inspiration and support on their own journey."

Olivia Munn and John Mulaney attend the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscars after party

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"In February of 2023, in an effort to be proactive about my health, I took a genetic test that checks you for 90 different cancer genes. I tested negative for all, including BRCA (the most well-known breast cancer gene). My sister Sara had just tested negative as well. We called each other and high-fived over the phone. That same winter I also had a normal mammogram," read Munn's statement in full. "Two months later I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"In the past ten months I have had four surgeries, so many days spent in bed I can't even count and have learned more about cancer, cancer treatment and hormones than I ever could have imagined. Surprisingly, I've only cried twice. I guess I haven't felt like there was time to cry. My focus narrowed and I tabled any emotions that I felt would interfere with my ability to stay clearheaded.

"I've tended to let people see me when I have energy, when I can get dressed and get out of the house, when I can take my baby boy to the park. I've kept the diagnosis and the recovery and the pain medicine and the paper gowns private. I needed to catch my breath and get through some of the hardest parts before sharing."

Going on to thank her OBGYN, Dr. Thais Aliabadi, Munn explained that she "wouldn't have found [her] cancer for another year" if it hadn't been for Aliabadi whose decision to calculate her Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Score "saved her life".

"Dr. Aliabadi looked at factors like my age, familial breast cancer history, and the fact that I had my first child after the age 30. She discovered my lifetime risk was at 37%. Because of that score I was sent to get an MRI, which led to an ultrasound, which then led to a biopsy. The biopsy showed I had Luminal B cancer in both breasts. Luminal B is an aggressive, fast moving cancer.

"30 days after that biopsy I had a double mastectomy. I went from feeling completely fine one day, to waking up in a hospital bed after 10-hour surgery the next."

"I'm lucky," Munn concluded. "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. Ask your doctor to calculate your Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Score. Dr. Aliabadi says that if the number is greater than 20%, you need annual mammograms and breast MRIs starting at age 30.

"I'm so thankful to my friends and family for loving me through this. I'm so thankful to John for the nights he spent researching what every operation and medication meant and what side effects and recovery I could expect. For being there before I went into each surgery and being there when I woke up, always placing framed photographs of our little boy Malcolm so it would be the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes.

"Thank you to the friends who've had breast cancer and the friends who connected me to friends who've had breast cancer for guiding me through some of my most uncertain and overwhelming moments," Munn continued. Before expressing her gratitude to the "nurses, patient coordinators and staff at Cedars-Sinai in LA and Saint John's in Santa Monica" - particularly thanking her oncologist, surgical oncologist, reconstructive surgeon and her "guardian angel", Dr. Thais Aliabadi.

We will continue to update this story.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.