Katie Couric opens up about her breast cancer diagnosis after having a mammogram this summer.
The former TV presenter has long championed preventative cancer screenings after losing her first husband, Jay Monahan, to colon cancer in 1998. Couric said during an annual pap smear, her doctor reminded her that she was late for a mammogram.
She told her gynecologist she would make an appointment for a mammogram “ASAP” and was screened on June 20. Couric said she handed her cell phone to the technician to record the process, but after seeing abnormal results, the doctor demanded that they stop filming.
The doctor called Couric the next day and confirmed that the abnormal tissue was cancerous.
“I felt sick and the room started spinning,” Couric wrote in an essay posted Wednesday on her Katie Couric Media website. “I was in the middle of an open office, so I went to a corner and spoke quietly, my mouth unable to follow the questions swirling in my head.”
Immediately, the 65-year-old media personality started thinking about her family members who lost their lives to cancer. When she returned to the doctor’s office, she was told the tumor on her breast was “highly treatable” with surgery, radiation and medication.
“Throughout the process, I kept thinking about two things: how lucky I was to have access to such incredible care, because so many people don’t have access to it,” said writes Couric. “It made me feel grateful and guilty — and angry that there is a de facto caste system in health care in America.”
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Couric revealed that she completed her final round of radiation on Tuesday, a day before revealing the diagnosis to the world. She added that other than her chest which looked like she had “tanned topless”, she “felt great”.
As she recovers from treatment, Couric says she wanted to send a message about the importance of annual mammograms while warning that many women with “dense breasts” like her might want to undergo additional screening.
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“I was six months late this time. I shudder to think what might have happened if I had delayed any longer,” she wrote.