Olivia Munn says she had hysterectomy as part of breast cancer treatment

The Newsroom actor previously underwent double mastectomy

Shahana Yasmin
Monday 13 May 2024 08:15 BST
Olivia Munn reveals breast cancer diagnosis

Olivia Munn has revealed that she underwent a full hysterectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

The actor, 43, who announced in March that a genetic test to determine if she carried cancer genes found she had breast cancer, has now opened up about the fifth surgery she had to undergo after receiving her diagnosis.

“I have now had an oophorectomy and hysterectomy,” the actor told Vogue magazine. “I took out my uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.”

The procedure was done in April and The Newsroom star said she chose it as an alternative to treatment that was making her unwell.

She has previously spoken about the symptoms from the treatment saying her hair had started thinning and she was constantly tired.

“The side effects of the medication hit me almost immediately,” she said of the treatment, which put her body into medically induced menopause. The medication, Lupron, was meant to suppress oestrogen, the hormone that could cause the cancer to reoccur.

“It was next-level, debilitating exhaustion. I would wake up in the morning and almost immediately need to get back into bed.”

Munn added that while the hysterectomy meant she couldn’t have children and was a “big decision”, she made it because she “needed to be present for my family”.

“I had friends try to cheer me up by saying, ‘Malcolm’s not going to remember this. Don’t worry.’”

“But I just kept thinking to myself, ‘I’m going to remember this, that I missed all these things.’ It’s his childhood, but it’s my motherhood, and I don’t want to miss any of these parts if I don’t have to.”

Malcolm is Munn’s one son with comedian John Mulaney. He was born in 2021.

The actor said she spoke with Mulaney and they decided that they weren’t done “growing our family” – leading to a final round of egg retrieval before the hysterectomy to use for a surrogacy.

The retrieval proved successful and the doctor informed the couple that they had two healthy embryos.

“It was just so exciting because not only did we get it in one retrieval, but it also meant that I didn’t have to keep putting myself at risk,” she said.

“With a surrogate, you have to try to go find a version of yourself somewhere out in the world. Somebody that you trust as much as yourself to live their life as a pregnant woman the same way that you would,” Munn said.

“But a surrogate isn’t a scary prospect to me anymore because there’s nothing I can do. I don’t have the ability to carry a baby anymore, so if we want to build our family, this is our option,” she added.

“This journey has made me realise how grateful I am to have options for not only fighting cancer, but also having more children if we want, because I know a lot of people don’t have those options.”

In March, Munn took to Instagram to reveal that she had breast cancer while detailing her process of being diagnosed.

She wrote that she and her sister were undergoing genetic testing for 90 different cancer genes, including BRCA, the most well-known breast cancer gene.

Although both Munn and her sister tested negative for the gene and had a clear mammogram, her doctor decided to calculate her Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Score just in case.

“The fact that she did saved my life,” Munn added, noting that her risk was 37 per cent.

Because of that risk, Munn was sent for an MRI, ultrasound, and biopsy, which revealed she had Luminal B cancer in both breasts.

Her post explained that it is an “aggressive, fast moving cancer”.

“I went from feeling completely fine one day, to waking up in a hospital bed after a 10-hour surgery the next,” she wrote. “I’m lucky. We caught it with enough time that I had options.”

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