Katie Couric has revealed that she was diagnosed with stage 1A breast cancer this summer.
The former Today show host announced her diagnosis on Instagram, saying she'd received it during a routine mammogram and ultrasound. In her post, Couric can be seen sitting in a hospital waiting room wearing a face mask and robe.
"Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. On June 21, I became one of them," she captioned the photo. "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."
In an accompanying essay posted on her personal website, Couric said her doctor had encouraged her to get a mammogram after she revealed she hadn't been screened since 2020.
At the appointment, Couric decided to record the routine tests in order to remind others to get tested (similarly to how she once got a colonoscopy on the Today show). However, after her mammogram and accompanying ultrasound, Couric's doctor requested that they stop filming after finding "something here that I'd like to check out."
After a biopsy, Couric received a phone call from her doctor that confirmed that the lump was cancerous. "I felt sick and the room started to spin," she wrote. "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."
Couric has a personal history with the disease. Her first husband, Jay Monahan, died of colon cancer in 1998, and her sister, Emily Couric, died of pancreatic cancer three years later, in 2001. Her mother also battled non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for a decade, while her father was treated for prostate cancer.
Mike Windle/Getty Images Katie Couric has been diagnosed with stage 1A breast cancer.
"My mood quickly shifted from disbelief to resignation," Couric continued in her essay. "Given my family's history of cancer, why would I be spared? My reaction went from 'Why me?' to 'Why not me?'"
However, Couric discovered that her tumor was "hormone receptor-positive, Her2neu-negative, and highly treatable, particularly if it was detected early." She had two pre-op procedures done before undergoing "breast conservation" surgery and began radiation in September, which concluded yesterday.
"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 wrote. "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."
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