Wanda Sykes Tells Ellen DeGeneres About Cancer

Published: Sep 23, 2021

Wanda Sykes has revealed that she found out earlier this year that she had breast cancer. Sykes said that while she was waiting for the final lab work, she had a breast reduction, which may have saved her life. She told Ellen DeGeneres on Monday that doctors discovered she had DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), which is a stage zero cancer.

It prompted her to opt for a bilateral mastectomy, or a double mastectomy, to head off any further development of the disease. The procedure is the same surgery that Christina Applegate underwent in 2008 after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Applegate also tested positive for BRCA, the “breast cancer gene.”

“Do you want to wait and not be as fortunate when it comes back, and it’s too late?” Sykes said.

“I’m not good at keeping on top of stuff. I’m sure I’m overdue for an oil change and a teeth cleaning already. I have a lot of breast cancer history on my mother’s side of the family, which I didn’t know about,” she said.

Sykes, who’s currently on a stand-up comedy tour and will perform at the New York Comedy Festival in November, joked to DeGeneres that she kept her cancer diagnosis quiet, until now, because she didn’t want to become a cancer “poster child.”

“How many things could I have? I’m black, then lesbian,” she joked. “I can’t be the poster child for everything! At least with the LGBT issues we get a parade, we get a float, it’s a party. I was real hesitant about doing this because, I hate walking. I got a lot of walks coming up,” Sykes said.

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