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‘Nothing Could Prepare Me’: Olivia Munn Opens Up About Undergoing Four Surgeries In 10 Months

Olivia Munn spoke candidly about her battle with breast cancer, saying she underwent four surgeries within a ten month period.

Doctors diagnosed the famous actress with bilateral breast cancer in 2023, telling her she had luminal B — a fast moving, aggressive cancer — in both breasts. She said she immediately thought about her infant son.

“Having a little baby at home made everything much more terrifying,” she told People.

Munn’s 2-year-old son Malcolm has been her inspiration throughout her medical journey, she told People. She admitted her medical journey took a toll.

“I really tried to be prepared, but the truth is that nothing could prepare me for what I would feel like, what it would look like and how I would handle it emotionally. It was a lot tougher than I expected,” she told People.

Actor Olivia Munn at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominations Announcement at Silver Screen Theater on December 13, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. 2018 SAG Nominations. Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Munn was two weeks away from starring in a new science-fiction movie when doctors diagnosed her.

“You realize cancer doesn’t care who you are; it doesn’t care if you have a baby or if you don’t have time,” she said. “It comes at you, and you have no choice but to face it head-on.”

That is precisely what she did. Within 30 days of receiving her diagnosis, she underwent a lymph node dissection, a nipple delay procedure to save her nipples and a double mastectomy. Her battle was daunting, and the decisions she had to make were difficult for the famous actress to process.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: Olivia Munn attends the 96th Annual Academy Awards on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

Olivia Munn attends the 96th Annual Academy Awards on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood, California. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Actress Olivia Munn poses backstage at the Michael Kors Spring 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Theatre at Lincoln Center on September 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Michael Kors)

Actress Olivia Munn poses backstage at the Michael Kors Spring 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week . Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Michael Kors

SANTA MONICA, CA: Olivia Munn attends the 24th annual Critics’ Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 13, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

Actress Olivia Munn arrives at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on March 28, 2019. (LISA O’CONNOR/AFP via Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Olivia Munn attends the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards on September 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

US actress Olivia Munn arrives for the 2019 Baby2Baby Fundraising Gala at 3Labs in Culver City, California on November 9, 2019. (Photo by JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images)

“I had amazing doctors, but it was still a negotiation sometimes on what we are doing,” she told People.

She recalled feeling confused as she tried to decide the fate of her future under such pressure, particularly regarding the nipple delay.

“But I’m glad I did. I want to give myself the best shot of keeping the parts of me that I can keep,” Munn told People.

“There’s so much information, and you’re making these huge decisions for the rest of your life.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 04: Olivia Munn attends the launch of Patrick Ta's Beauty Collection at Goya Studios on April 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Olivia Munn attends the launch of Patrick Ta’s Beauty Collection at Goya Studios on April 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Olivia Munn attends the Vanity Fair and Lancôme Women in Hollywood celebration at Soho House on February 06, 2020 in West Hollywood, California. Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images

The famous actress also began hormone suppression therapy to mitigate her risk for developing cancer in the future, and that resulted in medically-induced menopause — yet another thing she has had to work through.

“I’m constantly thinking it’s hot, my hair is thinning and I’m tired a lot,” she said, before crediting her son for keeping her motivated to go on. (RELATED: Christie Brinkley Reveals Devastating Health Update)

“When I’m with him, it’s the only time my brain doesn’t think about being sick. I’m just so happy with him. And it puts a lot of stuff into perspective,” she told People. “Because if my body changes, I’m still his mom. If I have hot flashes, I’m still his mom. If I lose my hair, I’m still his mom. That’s really what matters the most to me. I get to be here for him.”

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