Katie Couric opened up about a very personal issue in a recent essay posted to her website. The piece covers her breast cancer diagnosis, the steps she took to treat it, and the importance of regular screenings.
Couric Shares Her Breast Cancer Diagnosis
“June 21, 2022, was the first day of summer, my 8th wedding anniversary, and the day I found out I had breast cancer,” Couric’s essay began. She recalled that her gynecologist told her she was due for a mammogram, and so she made an appointment to get checked out.
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Couric took the opportunity to film her appointment, hoping it might serve as a helpful reminder to her fans to make mammogram appointments. The next day, the former news anchor got a text message saying she needed to call the office and discuss her results.
“When I called back, Dr. Drossman picked up right away,” Couric wrote. “‘Your biopsy came back. It’s cancer. You’re going to be fine but we need to make a plan.’ 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.”
The Procedures She Underwent To Combat The Illness
After a consultation with doctors, Couric decided she would be getting “breast conservation” surgery, also known as a lumpectomy. The procedure was scheduled for July 14—just a month after she was diagnosed.
“Throughout the process, I kept thinking about two things: How lucky I was to have access to such incredible care, since so many people don’t,” Couric explained. “And how lucky I was to be the beneficiary of such amazing technology. It made me feel grateful and guilty—and angry that there’s a de facto caste system when it comes to healthcare in America.”
Couric’s tumor was removed and she underwent a few rounds of radiation earlier this month. “I was warned that I may be fatigued and my skin may turn a little pink. Yesterday was my final round. My left breast does look like I’ve been sunbathing topless, but other than that, I’ve felt fine,” she joked.
Couric ‘Shudder[s] To Think What Might Have Happened’ Had She Not Gotten A Mammogram
She concluded her essay by imploring her readers to schedule regular mammograms. “I was six months late this time. I shudder to think what might have happened if I had put it off longer,” Couric explained. “But just as importantly, please find out if you need additional screening. Forty-five percent of women in this country (yes, nearly half) have dense breasts, which can make it difficult for mammograms alone to detect abnormalities.”
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Couric is devoting the month of October to covering all aspects of breast cancer on her website and podcast, educating women about breast cancer and emphasizing the importance of regular check-ups.