Following the death of her first husband, Jay Monahan, to colon cancer in 1998, Katie Couric has devoted her life to cancer-awareness advocacy, among many other distinguished roles. Today, the 65-year-old veteran journalist and mother shared she’s received her own cancer diagnosis.
“Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. On June 21st, I became one of them,” Couric wrote in her latest Instagram post. “As we approach #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth, I wanted to share my personal story with you all and encourage you to get screened and understand that you may fall into a category of women who needs more than a mammogram.”
On her site, Couric penned a heartfelt essay to share her story with her followers, urging readers to schedule a routine exam. “Please get your annual mammogram. I was six months late this time. I shudder to think what might have happened if I had put it off longer. But just as importantly, please find out if you need additional screening.”
After a routine mammogram, Couric’s doctor requested a biopsy of a lump in her left breast. It turned out to be cancer. “Your tumor is hormone receptor-positive, Her2neu-negative and highly treatable, particularly if it was detected early,” Dr. Lisa Newman told a shocked Couric.
On July 14, Couric underwent a lumpectomy. Radiation, which began September 7, and medication, “specifically something called an ‘aromatase inhibitor” she would have to take for five years, would follow. Yesterday was her final round of radiation. “My left breast does look like I’ve been sunbathing topless, but other than that, I’ve felt fine,” she says. Because Couric’s Oncotype, a measure of the likelihood of cancer returning, was a 19, her doctors decided to forgo chemotherapy.
“Why am I telling you all this? Well, since I’m the ‘Screen Queen’ of colon cancer, it seemed odd to not use this as another teachable moment that could save someone’s life,” she shares. “I can’t tell you how many times during this experience I thanked God that it was 2022. 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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