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Katie Couric Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Katie Couric shared that she was diagnosed with breast cancer over the summer and is now encouraging other women to get their annual mammogram done so they can catch this disease early.

The former Today show anchor shared the story of her health scare in a blog post on her website on Wednesday. Couric explained that she went to her doctor’s office in May to get her regular pap smear done and her gynecologist informed her she was overdue for a mammogram as well. While getting an additional screening using a breast ultrasound, the doctor explained that she needed to do a biopsy as she’d seen something that could be scar tissue from her 2016 breast reduction, but could also be something more pernicious.

The next day, on her eighth wedding anniversary, Couric was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her doctor told her, “You’re going to be fine but we need to make a plan.” She wrote, “I felt sick and the room started to spin. I was in the middle of an open office, so I walked to a corner and spoke quietly, my mouth unable to keep up with the questions swirling in my head. What does this mean? Will I need a mastectomy? Will I need chemo? What will the next weeks, months, even years look like?”

This diagnosis also brought up a lot of scary memories for the journalist as a number of her family members have had their own cancer scares with varying outcomes. She recalled her late husband, “Jay’s colon cancer diagnosis at 41 and the terrifying, gutting nine months that followed. My sister Emily’s pancreatic cancer, which would later kill her at 54, just as her political career was really taking off. My mother-in-law Carol’s ovarian cancer, which she was fighting as she buried her son, a year and nine months before she herself was laid to rest.” But she added, “There were better outcomes for others in my family. My mom was diagnosed with mantle cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which was kept at bay for a decade. My father’s prostate cancer, which was treated with radioactive seeds. My now-husband John had a tumor the size of a coconut on his liver, which was surgically removed just a few months before we got married.”

She and her physician quickly developed a plan to treat the cancer, deciding that Couric would undergo “‘breast conservation’ surgery, aka a lumpectomy. She would make an incision right around my areola. She said she’d try to make sure any scars would be covered by my bathing suit—the furthest thing from my mind,” she wrote. The news anchor’s surgery was scheduled for July 14 and while the pathology results came back and her lymph nodes were clean following the operation, this month, she started radiation. There is also a medication that she will need to take for the next five years.

“I can’t tell you how many times during this experience I thanked God that it was 2022,” Couric wrote of her experience going through this whole health ordeal. “And how many times I silently thanked all the dedicated scientists who have been working their asses off to develop better ways to analyze and treat breast cancer. But to reap the benefits of modern medicine, we need to stay on top of our screenings, advocate for ourselves, and make sure everyone has access to the diagnostic tools that could very well save their life.”

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