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Cancer Schmancer: The Nanny Fran's Breast Cancer Story

Fran Drescher is using her famously distinct voice to advocate for early detection of cancer.

The Nanny actress discovered she had uterine cancer in 2000 after years of misdiagnoses and started a nonprofit, the Cancer Schmancer Movement, to educate people about recognizing the symptoms in stage 1.

“I’m a cancer survivor and I’ve been on this journey since then of really trying to look at causation, which I think is a big missing component in a lot of Western medicine,” Drescher, 58, said Wednesday on The Hoda Kotb Show. “I went to all these different specialists. Each one had some kind of a prescriptive drug to suppress the symptom, but nobody was trying to figure out what was the cause. Causation is the name of the game, and we at Cancer Schmancer put great emphasis on that. Let’s not get cancer in the first place. How’s that for a cure?”

Kotb, 51, battled the disease herself: She underwent a mastectomy for breast cancer in 2007 and has used her celebrity status to spread awareness ever since.

“I feel like I got famous, I got cancer and I lived to talk about it, so this has become my life mission,” Drescher said. “Even when I do a job like one of the voices in Hotel Transylvania, I’m really working so that I had a forum to sell my Cancer Schmancer message when I promote it. People are always shocked, like Adam Sandler’s not really interested in doing a lot of press, and I’m like, ‘Oh, I’ll do that!’ Because it gives me an opportunity to talk about Cancer Schmancer and people stop me on the street because they recognize me. They say, ‘You know, you saved my life,’ or ‘I made that doctor’s appointment when I saw you on Hoda or when I read your book or an article or whatever.’ I feel very grateful. I’ve turned lemons into lemonade.”

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