Katie Couric is opening up about getting breast cancer after keeping it under wraps all summer.
The former Today show anchor announced in a blog post that she was diagnosed on July 21 — the same day as her 8th wedding anniversary. After getting her annual pap smear in May, her gynecologist told her that she was due for a mammogram as well. The following month her mammogram was done. Her doctor told her that she needed to do a biopsy because there’s “something here that I’d like to check out. It could be scar tissue.”
“A text came in: ‘Please call me in the office to discuss biopsy results. I tried calling you on your cell. Your mailbox is full,'” Couric wrote. “When I called back, Dr. Drossman picked up right away. ‘Your biopsy came back. It’s cancer. You’re going to be fine, but we need to make a plan.'”
Couric said she “felt sick and the room started to spin.” She went to a corner and began thinking of a million questions regarding the next steps that she has to take. She then thought about her family’s history with cancer, including her former husband Jay Monahan, who died from colon cancer in 1998.
“My sister Emily’s pancreatic cancer, which would later kill her at 54, just as her political career was really taking off,” she wrote. “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.” However, Couric said there “were better outcomes” for some of her other family members, including her parents who were both treated for their cancer.
Couric acted quickly with her doctor and decided that she would have “‘breast conservation’ surgery, aka a lumpectomy.” She wrote, “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.” Couric said the July 14 surgery would then be followed by radiation and medication that she would need to take for five years.
After the surgery, Couric, 65, said that the pathology results came back and her lymph nodes were clean, but would then start radiation. Amid her journey, Couric is now using her story to urge other women to get their annual mammograms done. “I can’t tell you how many times during this experience I thanked God that it was 2022,” she wrote. “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.”