She’s thinking pink. For the past 23 years, Elizabeth Hurley has spent every October raising awareness for breast cancer. And the celebrity is more determined than ever to stop the disease once and for all.
Shortly after joining Estee Lauder as a spokesmodel, she was tapped to help the cause. “Evelyn Lauder asked me right away when I joined the company if I’d help with the new campaign and I said, ‘Of course — what is it?’” the model told Us Weekly October 1, at the cosmetic company’s event to light NYC’s Empire State Building pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2018. “And she said, ‘Well, women all over the world are dying of breast cancer, and no one is talking about it, and that is what I am going to change.”
At the time, recalls the 53-year-old Royals actress, awareness was nearly nonexistent: “There was no pink ribbon, nobody spoke about breast cancer.” Now that that’s changed, the Estee Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Campaign aims to eradicate the disease, which disproportionately affects women. Says Hurley, “Our new hashtag this year is #timetoendbreastcancer. We are now moving everything toward really finding that cure.”
For Hurley, who lost her grandmother to breast cancer nearly three decades ago, that cure can’t come soon enough. “I have countless friends that have breast cancer, and they didn’t all make it either,” says, who hands out pink ribbon pins to people she meets. “And because, you know, I’m so involved in this campaign, wherever I go normally, somebody will talk to me about somebody they’ve lost to breast cancer or somebody that is fighting breast cancer.”
According to Breastcancer.org, about 1 in 8 U.S. women — or approximately 12.4 percent — will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Though death rates from the disease have been steadily dropping since 1989, about 40,920 women in the the country are expected to die from breast cancer in 2018 alone, states the organization. In addition, breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer, in the U.S.
Fighting breast cancer — and saving lives — is what drives the mother of 16-year-old Damian. “It makes a real difference,” she says of the Estee Lauder campaign. “If somebody says ‘I saw you on TV and then went to my doctor and got a mammogram,’ we know that that’s a message that really got home.”
Staying healthy can help lower risks for all cancers, and the fit British star has taken that message to heart. “I’ve learned so much with this breast cancer campaign,” she says. “We have to keep our hearts healthy, our lungs healthy, our organs healthy. And we need to eat well, and we need to get plenty of sleep and we need to relax. Doctors say it is one of the most important things for our health to do all those things, so I try.”
Unlike many other Hollywood stars, the Austin Powers alum doesn’t subscribe to high-intensity workouts. Instead, “I believe in being active, going for walks, stretching, maybe a little yoga or a little Pilates,” she says. “I walk every day, so I try and hit my 10,000 steps a day and I do some stretching every day.” And she never skips the most important meal of the day! “I like things like an omelet, or I like avocado on toast or some tomatoes,” she notes. “I always have something for breakfast.”