Inside Suzanne Somers' Complicated History With Breast Cancer

Suzanne Somers built her post-"Three's Company" career on alternative paths to health and wellness. When she was struggling with perimenopause, she advocated custom-made hormones to treat her symptoms. After a sonogram revealed a 2.4-centimeter lump that a mammogram didn't detect, Somers chose a balance of traditional and alternative remedies to treat her breast cancer.

Although Somers had a lumpectomy and radiation treatments, she resisted chemotherapy and after-care drugs because she feared the side effects. In a 2001 interview with CNN's "Larry King Live," she opted for a homeopathic treatment where she would inject herself in the stomach every day for five years. She maintained that her alternative remedy protected her from a breast cancer recurrence with the same chances as chemotherapy, only without chemotherapy's side effects.

Even though Somers insisted her homeopathic treatments would be effective, King criticized her for not following her doctor's recommendations. "What if it isn't, though? Then you're putting off something that could hurt you," King said. "You're rolling a little dice."

Somers adopted a chemical-free lifestyle

Because part of Somers' breast was removed as part of her lumpectomy, she didn't want the typical reconstruction surgery associated with breast cancer survivors. According to US Weekly, she turned to an alternative treatment in 2018 that included taking fat cells from her stomach and combining them with stem cells to fill in part of her missing breast. She said she had been cancer-free due to her organic-only diet, eschewing anything with hormones. "I don't even worry about cancer," she said in the interview. "It's never coming back."

This July, she told Entertainment Tonight that her breast cancer had come back. She credited her "chemical-free" life for her survival for so long. A Page Six interview with Somers' husband Alan Hamel said Somers had gotten an "all-clear" from her doctors on June 6.

She later posted on Instagram a photo of her and Hamel, writing: "As you know, I had breast cancer two decades ago, and every now and then it pops up again, and I continue to bat it down. I have used the best alternative and conventional treatments to combat it." Somers died October 15 at her home in Palm Springs at the age of 76.