Watch CBSN Live

Fran Drescher Spearheads Cancer Movement

In real life, Fran Drescher is not just our favorite nanny; she is also an accomplished actress, comedienne and cancer survivor who fought a battle with uterine cancer and won.

Drescher and Louis Levy, co-chair of Generation NXT, joined Early Show co-anchors Harry Smith, Maggie Rodriguez and Julie Chen to discuss her movement, "Cancer Schmancer" and Generation NXT.

"You did an event with a new organization called Generation NXT. What is Generation NXT?" Smith asked.

"Generation NXT is basically a group of philanthropists ranging in ages from 21 to 30 and our ultimate goal is to raise awareness for different types of charitable organizations," said Levy. The organization raises money by hosting large events, generating ticket sales and auction items, which are given to the foundation they are sponsoring.

"It's a wonderful, wonderful organization. And it just so exemplifies what I think young people should be doing nowadays, and so in keeping with what the current administration is encouraging every American to do -- which is to take part in something greater than any individual and try and make a difference, because it all depends on us as individuals," Drescher said.

According to Drescher, Generation NXT takes parties to the next level.

"You know, you can have a party, you can meet people, but you can also be paying a door fee that makes a difference for an organization. And last night they very generously made 'Cancer Schmancer' the beneficiary and I feel very privileged and honored to be included in the Generation NXT effort," Drescher said.

Drescher came out with the book, "Cancer Schmancer" first, which then became a movement. The book followed her battle with uterine cancer, which initially was misdiagnosed.

"It took me two years and eight doctors to get a proper diagnosis. And I wrote what became a New York Times best-seller 'Cancer Schmancer,'" Drescher explained.

While Drescher was on her book tour and started talking to tens of thousands of people, she realized what was happening to her was not unique.

"Misdiagnosis and mistreatment runs rampant. And late-stage diagnosis is unfortunately more often than not the case. And if everyone was diagnosed in stage one, almost everyone would live. So the 'Cancer Schmancer' movement is trying to ensure that every American gets diagnosed in stage one when it's most curable because stage one is the cure," Drescher said.

"So what is your best advice for people out there?" Chen asked.

"Well, you have to transform from being a patient into a medical consumer. Check out the Internet for what your symptoms might be. Join the 'Cancer Schmancer' movement so that we can change policy on Capitol Hill and ensure that Americans are offered more cancer screening tests," she said.

She also advised learning what the tests are available because doctors seldom give you every test for every cancer you can possibly get.

"Ovarian cancer is often misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome," Drescher pointed out.

"You have to be your own best advocate," Smith said.

"That's right. You have to take control of your body," Drescher said.