Cancer Type – Appendix Cancer

Bio – Audrey Hepburn -The Breakfast at Tiffany’s star will always be an idol to women. Her time was cut short after diagnosed with uncommon appendix cancer.

Short Story – She is the iconic 1950’s and 60’s star that adorns today’s Pinterest memes with quotes such as, “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m Possible.” and “Elegance is the only beauty that never fades.” She was classy and elegant. The year she won her Oscar and Tony, a New York Times critic called her, “a slender, elfin and wistful beauty, alternately regal and childlike.”

After ending her main acting career, Hepburn became a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef). In 1992 after returning from a trip to Somalia, she was diagnosed with appendix cancer.

Audrey had a rare appendiceal cancer called pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP), which usually starts in the appendix as a small growth and develops into a tumour. Left untreated, the tumour eventually bursts through the wall of the appendix to form further tumours.

The tumor produces a jelly-like substance called mucin. This can cause the appendix to swell up like a balloon. The tumour can then break through the wall of the appendix and spread tumour cells into the lining of the stomach (the peritoneum). The tumour cells and mucin build up in the lining of the stomach, putting pressure on the bowel.

Audrey passed from complications of her cancer at the age of 63 (1993).

We will forever remember her in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Image Credits – By Paramount-photo by Bud Fraker (eBay front back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


BornAudrey Kathleen Ruston, 4 May 1929, Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium
Died20 January 1993 (aged 63), Tolochenaz, Vaud, Switzerland
Cause of deathAppendiceal cancer
Resting placeTolochenaz Cemetery, Tolochenaz, Vaud
Other namesEdda van Heemstra, Audrey Kathleen Hepburn-Ruston
OccupationActress (1948–89), Humanitarian (1988–92)
Spouse(s)Mel Ferrer (m. 1954; div. 1968), Andrea Dotti (m. 1969; div. 1982)
Partner(s)Robert Wolders (1980–93; her death)
Parent(s)Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston, Baroness Ella van Heemstra
RelativesBaron Aarnoud van Heemstra (maternal grandfather), Emma Ferrer (granddaughter)