Kathy Bates Reveals Her Private Battle with Ovarian Cancer

The actress kept quiet after being diagnosed in 2004, but she says she "admires people who have been open" about fighting cancer

Kathy Bates had a life-threatening battle with cancer eight years ago, but she managed to keep it completely out of the limelight.

The Academy Award winner, 63, reveals to Anderson Cooper on his show Anderson (airing March 22) that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2004. But unlike many other celebrities who've chosen to take their health crises public, Bates decided not to speak openly about her struggle.

"I was advised to," the Harry's Law star explains. "I was contracted to go into a movie at that time, Little Black Book, with Brittany Murphy, who I miss very much," she says of the 2004 romantic comedy starring the late actress, who died unexpectedly at 32 in December 2009.

"But my doctors at the time, they had to get insurance approval and all of that, so I was very quiet about it. I had to go back to work right away," Bates adds.

The highly esteemed actress also admits that she underwent chemotherapy treatments by herself: "I guess it's something I felt I had to face on my own. Nobody else really knows what you're going through except another cancer patient. Even though your family is supportive and surrounds you."

Although Bates doesn't regret her decision to keep her cancer away from public scrutiny, she does respect celebrities who've opened up about their struggles.

"I admire people who have been open like Melissa Etheridge and women I see walking around facing it with out wigs and all of that stuff. I think I would be more courageous next time."

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