Celebrities with diseases
When it comes to health, celebrities are just as vulnerable as the rest of us. Some of these famous faces are well known for championing their illness, while others may surprise you.
April is National Cancer Control Month, when we pay tribute to Americans who have lost their battle with cancer, and join in activities that will increase awareness of what we can do to prevent and control cancer.
Use Bing to learn more about cancer and other diseases that have affected the lives of these actors, athletes, musicians and TV personalities.
--Pamela Boyd, MSN Healthy Living
The basketball great is known for his towering height and trademark "sky-hook" move on the court. But even elite athletes become ill, and in 2009 Abdul-Jabbar went public with his diagnosis of this blood disease.
The "Baywatch" blonde is best known for her red swimsuit and her tumultuous relationship with ex-husband Tommy Lee (see them together). In 2002, she contracted a disease which she blames on sharing a tattoo needle with Lee. The pair famously had each other's names tattooed on their ring fingers.
This R&B singer rose to stardom in the 1990s with hits including "Un-Break My Heart" (listen to it). Years later, she was diagnosed with a heart condition. In 2008 she competed on "Dancing With the Stars" despite her condition, which causes chest tightness and breathing problems.
Bing: What heart condition does Toni have?
Search: Which reality TV show is she on now?
The veteran newsman revealed in February that he has this incurable cancer, but remains "very optimistic" about his future. The former "NBC Nightly News" anchor (how old is he?) is now an NBC News special correspondent and continues to work on projects during his treatment.
The newswoman and former daytime talk show host (see clips of her short-lived show) is known for her sunny demeanor and quick smile, as well as her devotion to raising awareness for colon cancer. But in 2012, she revealed her own struggle during college with a disorder common to girls and women.
The rapper and five-time Grammy Award winner has written many a hit single (listen to her hits), but at one time this debilitating condition made it impossible for her to use a pen. There's no cure for the disease, but early detection and proper treatment can help minimize the impact.
Bing: What disease made it difficult for Missy to accomplish everyday tasks?
Search: Check out how much weight she's lost
Michael J. Fox
The actor is well known for his memorable roles on "Family Ties," "Spin City" and "Back to the Future." But for the past decade his most visible role has been as an activist seeking a cure for this degenerative disease. Though he once expressed his concern over whether "sick people [can] be funny," ," he made his TV comeback in the NBC sitcom "The Michael J. Fox Show" (what's the status of the show?).
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Best known for her beloved portrayal of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (watch clips), this actress and mom grew up with a condition she partly blames on her aversion to wearing both backpack straps as a teenager. She has said she is a fan of Pilates, which helps to relieve her discomfort.
The Oscar-winning actor went public with his diagnosis during an appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman" in 2013. Weight is often a factor in the disease, and Hanks' weight has fluctuated over the years for various movie roles (what film is he working on now?).