Cancer is a deadly disease. With over 100 forms of cancer around, even if this disease does not kill a person, it leaves them weak and of course, traumatized for life. Today, on Cancer Survivors Day, we talk about five cancer-diagnosed celebrities who were heroes, not only in their ‘reel’ lives, but also in their ‘real’ lives by winning their fight against cancer and motivating millions of other people to stay strong and do the same. These celebs from different walks of life, from movies to modelling to cricket, are an inspiration, and surely deserve to be commended for their courage.

Manisha Koirala

The Khamoshi actress was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer at the age of 42. She was shocked to such an extent that she remained in denial until her second opinion confirmed it, too. After 6 months of intense therapy and a surgery, Manisha finally defeated cancer and came out clean. The incident has transformed her as a person, she says.

Yuvraj Singh

The star of India, shortly after winning the 2011 World Cup, was diagnosed with Lung Cancer, Stage 1. He decided to go to the United States for chemotherapy and once fit, he made his comeback to cricket the following year with 20-20.

Anurag Basu

Given only two months, and then two weeks to live in 2004, the Barfi director was told his chances of survival were not more than 50%. With very little time in hand, Basu still did not lose hope and changed treatment through which he showed miraculous recovery and dodged death.

Lisa Ray

Lisa Ray had everything working in her favor, from a successful modelling career, an acting career in Bollywood and even Hollywood… until the day she discovered she has Multiple Myeloma. Her belief in prayers is what made the stem cell treatment successful she says. Besides acting and endorsing many brands, Lisa is now working on publishing her own book which would be based on her life.


The yesteryear actress who ruled over a million hearts once upon a time was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the age of 43. The battle was not easy. Mumtaz underwent chemotherapy for 11 years before kicking it goodbye. At 69 now, all fit and fine, she lives a peaceful life.

-By Sanaa Surve