Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States.
The chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about 1 in 39 (about 2.5%). Breast cancer death rates have been decreasing steadily since 1989, for an overall decline of 43% through 2020.
Recently, a famous journalist Katie Couric opened up about her cancer diagnosis to raise awareness for people to get checkups regularly.
Couric shared an emotional photo of her sitting in a hospital wearing a mask and a hospital gown along with the caption: “Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. On June 21st, I became one of them.
“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.”
The 65-year-old journalist, born on January 7, 1957 explained that she missed her 2020 mammogram and her doctor told her to have her check-up the next year.
When she did the check-up, the results concerned the doctor which ordered a biopsy. Soon they came with devastating news: she had breast cancer.
“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,” she recalled.
Sad but true, most of her family members have been diagnosed with cancer at some point in life, including her sister, parents, mother-in-law… her husband also died of colon cancer back in 1998.
She then had to accept the harsh reality of her new situation. “My mood quickly shifted from disbelief to resignation,” she recalled. “Given my family’s history of cancer, why would I be spared? My reaction went from, ‘Why me?’ to ‘Why not me?’”
The good news was that the early diagnosis allowed her to do a procedure known as “breast conservation” or “lumpectomy.”
Her tumor was removed, which was the size of an olive, and she had to take medications for five years. Again, it was luck that the tumor was discovered in early stages so she didn’t have to any chemo treatments which can go packed with many side effects.
Couric’s story is just one example of the utmost importance of regular check-ups and screenings. Her influence is appreciated because it helps spread awareness that we should all be more proactive about our health.
“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 a**es off to develop better ways to analyze and treat breast cancer,” she wrote on her website. “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,” she concluded.
We hope this helps people get regular check-ups, and while it’s devastating to get the news, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
We wish Katie Couric good health moving forward battling mentally and emotionally.
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