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'The Bold and the Beautiful' exclusive: Kathryn Joosten to tell her cancer survival story in soap's 6000th episode

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Image Credit: Dr. Billy Ingram/WireImage.comKathryn Joosten (Karen McCluskey on Desperate Housewives) will guest star on The Bold and the Beautiful, EW has learned exclusively. The actress will play herself in a story arc involving Nick Marone (Jack Wagner) and Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery) that centers on lung cancer. In the episode, Stephanie befriends real-life lung cancer patients and survivors and meets them one-by-one in her home to hear their stories of diagnosis, treatment and hope. Joosten, a two-time cancer survivor, is among the visitors in the drama’s 6000th episode.

The episode tapes Dec. 17 and will air on Feb. 7. Joosten reportedly gave up her 45-year smoking habit in 2001 after she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Eight years later, she was diagnosed again but underwent surgery. She was declared cancer-free earlier this year.

Ironically, the daytime sudser has long been tied to Desperate Housewives and the character of Karen, though that’s not how it secured Joosten for the role. The Bold and the Beautiful’s Alley Mills (Pam Douglas) is married to Orson Bean, who plays Karen’s husband on Housewives.