Even today, cancer remains a somewhat taboo topic, with some people unwilling to publicly share their condition.
January 2016 will be remembered as a particularly alarming month for fans of David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and Terry Wogan – whose lives were all ended by cancer.
Their deaths were not only marked by mass outpourings of grief from loved ones, colleagues and fans at the loss of great talents in their respective fields, but also for the privacy in which they dealt with the disease.
None of the men announced their diagnoses with cancer publicly, but also appeared to have told only their closest friends and family members.
Similarly, after announcing he had throat cancer, actor Michael Douglas later clarified that he had hidden his potentially disfiguring tongue cancer diagnoses at the recommendation of his doctors.
But while fame and the responses of the media may play a part in whether high-profile figures reveal their conditions, concerns about sharing the unwelcome news are universal.