Olivia Munn shares breast cancer news to help others ‘find comfort’

Olivia Munn has revealed she has breast cancer in the hope it will help others to “find comfort, inspiration and support on their own journey”.

The X-Men star, 43, announced the news in a lengthy statement posted to Instagram among a series of images of her in hospital receiving treatment.

She revealed she had undergone four operations in the past 10 months including a double mastectomy.

Munn wrote: “In February of 2023, in an effort to be more proactive about my health, I took a genetic test that checks you for 90 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. The same winter I also had a negative mammogram. 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 could ever 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.”

She said she kept her health struggles private as she needed to “catch her breath” and get through “some of the hardest parts” of it before she could share it publicly.

Munn added that she would not have found her cancer until her next scheduled mammogram, but her gynaecological surgeon Thais Aliabadi decided to calculate the actress’s breast cancer risk. “The fact she did saved my life,” said Munn.

The 90th Academy Awards – Vanity Fair Party – Los Angeles
Olivia Munn (PA)

She said the assessment took into account her age, family breast cancer history, and that she had her first child after the age of 30, giving her a “lifetime risk” of 37%.

She was sent for an MRI, an ultrasound and a biopsy, which found she had luminal B cancer in both breasts, which she described as an “aggressive, fast-moving” form.

“I went from feeling completely fine one day, to waking up in a hospital bed after a 10-hour surgery the next,” she added about her double mastectomy.

“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.”

The Newsroom star urged others to ask their doctors to calculate their breast cancer risk and to keep up with their annual mammograms and breast MRIs.

She also thanked her friends and family for “loving me through this”, paying special tribute to her husband, comedian John Mulaney, for his support.

“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,” she wrote.

“For being there before I went into each surgery and being there when I woke up, always placing framed photos of our little boy Malcolm so it would be the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes.”

Munn had her first child, Malcolm Hiep Mulaney, with her husband in 2021.

She also thanked friends who have had breast cancer for guiding her through “some of my most uncertain and overwhelming months” and praised medical staff.

Alongside the post, she explained she had shared her story in the hope it “will help others find comfort, inspiration and support on their own journey”.

Her husband Mulaney commented on the post: “Thank you for fighting so hard to be here for us. Malc and I adore you.”

Dr Aliabadi was also among those to share messages of support, writing: “You are my hero. Your post will save so many lives. I love you so much.”