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Christina Applegate Included Her Own Breast Cancer Diagnosis In 'Dead To Me'

Netflix's new dark comedy Dead To Me has been met with rave reviews, not least for Christina Applegate's portrayal of the deadpan and brazen Jen, who is dealing with the recent loss of her husband.

While we're sure there are lots of differences between Christina and her character, there is one similarity: both have undergone a double mastectomy.

In the show, Jen opens up about the procedure to Judy when she compliments her breasts. "[They] aren't mine," she says, explaining she underwent the surgery to prevent breast cancer after discovering she had same gene as her mother, making her more susceptible to the disease.

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Credit: Netflix
Credit: Netflix

Speaking to Hollywood Reporter, Christina explained it was her decision to write her breast cancer into the role. "[Jen] having a mastectomy was something I brought to [creator and showrunner] Liz Feldman in the middle of filming," the actress told the publication.

"Jen did not have cancer, she did it prophylactically, but the surgery itself and the aftermath of that is hard emotionally and physically. I wanted to be honest about it."

The 47-year-old actress began getting mammogram screenings at age 30 because after discovering she had the BRCA gene mutation. The gene, which runs in her family, dramatically increases a woman's chance of getting breast and ovarian cancer.

In 2008, doctors found breast cancer in Christina's results. Catching the cancer early, the actress decided to have a double mastectomy at age 36. Her mother is a survivor of breast cancer, having also got the procedure.

At the time, Christina opened up to Elle.com about her new breasts. "I've seen [breast implants] on some girls recently where I'm like, 'Those are the best looking boobs I've seen'," she said. "So it can be a positive thing...You can get better boobs than you had before, if you so choose."

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"You start to live with those boobs, and it's your reminder every day that this thing happened to you, unfortunately, and it's a part of your body that's changed drastically, and embracing that is difficult sometimes," she continued.

In 2017, the mum-of-one revealed she also opted to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to further prevent cancer, sharing that her cousin had died from ovarian cancer in 2008.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Life, Life News

Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance journalist working for Pretty 52. After graduating from the University of Sussex, Ciara worked as a writer at GLAMOUR Magazine and later as the Assistant Editor of Yahoo Style UK.

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