Celebrity Cancer: News?

The news this week end was sure to include that Christina Applegate was being treated for breast cancer. She’s an Emmy nominated actress who played one of Jennifer Aniston’s character sisters on “Friends”, and given today’s culture, that’s news. Maybe it’s the remnant of my J School training, but I must ask why?
First what makes her, or the list of actresses that have so far been afflicted, more important than anyone else? I’ve had breast cancer, so have many of my friends, Sylvia, Harriett, Bonnie, Deborah… and if I am to include family members, the list could grow long. In fact there isn’t a cancer type a family member hasn’t had, including brain and spinal cancers. My list is far from unique. It’s the norm. Don’t we all have a list of friends and family members who have had cancer? So why single Ms Applegate this week end and whatever actress will next be diagnosed next week or next month? Why does being a celebrity, however small the accompanying fame may be, make one more important than those we care about? It’s not that I ignore what celebrity means, if Elizabeth Taylor, who has been a star my entire life, were to be diagnosed, I’d feel a twinge, but it wouldn’t be like what I felt when my cousin Yolande had a recurrence of breast cancer and then it spread to the lungs and she was given what turned out to be the wrong medication and died within days.
The emotional aspects aside, we are legal equals. But more important we are spiritual equals. What distinguishes us as spiritual beings may revolve around how much love we have but I feel quite confident asserting it would not include being a celebrity. Which all brings me back to my original question, why are we treating a celebrity’s announcement of cancer as news? So many interesting stories go uncovered, so many issues crucial to our understanding the world around us need to be talked about. Why do we settle for the health details of every one in the public eye, and treat them as news?