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Julia Louis-Dreyfus reveals why she shared breast cancer diagnosis publicly

In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, the "Veep" star opened up about her choice to make a deeply personal part of her private life public.
/ Source: TODAY

While Julia Louis-Dreyfus is an open book when it comes to her on-screen career and causes close to her heart, the star is known for keeping her private life private.

But in September of last year, she opened up to her fans about a very personal struggle — her breast cancer diagnosis.

Now "Veep's" leading lady, 57, is revealing why she made that choice.

"I am really good," Louis-Dreyfus assured Jimmy Kimmel during a visit to his live, late-night show Thursday. "I'm not just saying that. I'm good, I'm here. I know we have to get this cancer s--- out of the way, so bring on the questions!"

And he did, including asking the 11-time Emmy winner about her uncharacteristic choice to bare all when it came to her cancer journey.

"I did it for a couple of reasons," she explained. "First and foremost, we had to stall 'Veep' production because of my situation.

"A lot of people worked for me, and I knew I couldn't really keep it private because I had to tell everybody what was going on and then I sort of embraced that."

It was the positive feedback she received that prompted her to make her announcement far beyond her cast and crew.

"I think people liked the fact that I had a sense of humor about it, and also, I think it's an important conversation to have about health and health care," she continued.

Because, while she was able to get the best care without the concern of financial burden, that's not the reality for many others.

"I very much considered the notion that, as someone battling this disease, the idea that I might not have health insurance — which I do, thanks to my great union — is completely terrifying," she said.

"Health care should be for all. I believed it before. Now, I really believe it. I really know it."

And that's a stance Kimmel shares — and one he's passionately expressed in the past — after his now-1-year-old son, Billy, required open-heart surgery shortly after he was born.

Both Billy and Louis-Dreyfus are doing well these days, but the thought of others facing the type of struggles either of them faced without adequate funds or insurance is a sobering one for Kimmel and the actress.

"I can't even imagine, frankly, that hardship," she said.