5 stars who overcame cancer and returned to the entertainment industry
These 5 Korean stars bravely fight cancer and win
1. Park So-dam
Actor Park So-dam surprised fans by announcing a sudden cancer diagnosis in December 2021. Park So-dam was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer during a regular health checkup and underwent emergency surgery. At the time, it was known that she was in such a dangerous situation that she almost lost her voice. After the surgery, she regained her health through thorough health management, such as doing Pilates 5 or 6 times a week.
2. Kim Woo-bin
Actor Kim Woo-bin shocked the entertainment industry by announcing his hiatus in 2017 due to a diagnosis of nasopharyngeal cancer. Nasopharyngeal cancer refers to a disease where malignant tumors grow in the back part of the nasopharynx (the digestive organ between the mouth and esophagus).
After undergoing three rounds of chemotherapy and 35 sessions of radiation therapy, he resumed his activities in 2019, approximately 2 years and 6 months later. Kim Woo-bin recently appeared on the TVN variety show ‘You Quiz on the Block,’ recalling his time during his illness. He said, “Because it was related to my life, I was very scared and fearful. When I was sick, I received so many prayers. Thanks to that, I believe I recovered faster. So, with the hope that the support and prayers I received will be passed on to others, for the past four years, I’ve been closing my eyes and praying every night before going to sleep.”
3. Uhm Jung-hwa
Singer and actress Uhm Jung-hwa announced her diagnosis of thyroid cancer in 2010. After the surgery, she spent a difficult time for 8 months due to vocal cord paralysis. She recalled that time, saying, “There was a moment when even breathing sounds were enviable.” With vocal cord injections and practice, she successfully rehabilitated her voice. After more than 10 years, she made a glamorous comeback in the music industry by releasing her 10th album. Recently, she has been active in various entertainment programs.
4. Jeong Mi-ae
Trot singer Jeong Mi-ae gained significant popularity by finishing as the runner-up on TV Chosun’s ‘Tomorrow’s MISTROT’ and suddenly halted her activities in 2021. Later in January, she revealed her current situation of battling stage 3 stomach cancer, causing sadness among those around her. After undergoing surgery to remove one-third of her tongue, she said, “I asked the doctor if I would be able to sing after the surgery, but the doctor didn’t answer.” She expressed her determination to overcome the situation, saying, “Nevertheless, I am gradually overcoming it. I feel courageous and believe I can do it.” In February, she made a comeback in the music industry by releasing a new song titled ‘Hold on to Worry,’ also known as ‘걱정 붙들어 매.’
6. Hong Jin-kyung
Former model and TV personality Hong Jin-kyung battled ovarian cancer in 2014 and went through a period of treatment. Despite the shock of the cancer diagnosis while raising her young daughter at the time, she received anti-cancer treatment and continued her broadcasting activities. In 2016, after two years, she announced her recovery.
Last year, she appeared on MBC’s ‘Point of Omniscient Interference’ and recalled her time during cancer treatment. She said, “As a profession that brings laughter to viewers, I didn’t want to show any concerns. That’s why I wore a wig and continued my activities.” She mentioned enduring the cancer treatment while watching variety shows, saying, “After laughing out loud for a few episodes, three hours of cancer treatment would be over. That’s why I’m proud of giving laughter.”