The 65-year-old journalist received her diagnosis after missing a mammogram.
Katie Couric reveals she was diagnosed with breast cancer. On Wednesday, ahead of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the 65-year-old journalist took to Instagram and her website to break the news to her fans.
“Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. On June 21st, I became one of them,” Couric wrote next to a photo of her wearing a mask and a gown while sitting in a medical office. “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.”
Couric detailed her diagnosis further on her website, and noted that after missing her annual mammogram in 2020, she was encouraged by her doctor to schedule an appointment. Couric decided she would record her medical procedure, which she had in June, “in a PG way” to encourage fans to stay on top of their yearly exams.
Following the initial procedure, Couric was taken back for an ultrasound. When her radiologist returned, she shared that she would need a biopsy. The following day, Couric said she got the results, and it was 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 wrote.
In that moment, Couric said she began to think about her first husband, Jay Monahan, who died in 1998 following a colon cancer diagnosis, as well as her mother-in-law, her sister, her mother, and her father’s cancer diagnoses.
After realizing her family history, Couric said she started to change her focus. “My mood quickly shifted from disbelief to resignation,” she said. “Given my family’s history of cancer, why would I be spared? My reaction went from, 'Why me?' to 'Why not me?'"
Couric’s type of breast cancer was highly treatable with early detection, and she was able to undergo “breast conservation” surgery, also known as a “lumpectomy.”
Her treatment would be followed by radiation -- which she began earlier this month -- and a medicine that she would be required to take for five years. When the tumor (which was the size of an olive) was removed, Couric’s doctor said that the staging was 1A and there was a very low chance of the cancer returning, so there was no need for chemotherapy.
Couric shared that she took a lesson from her experience and will continue to advocate and educate on cancer and the proper screenings.
“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. “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.”