"I can't tell you how many times during this experience I thanked God that it was 2022," she wrote.
Katie Couric was diagnosed with breast cancer, she recently revealed in a personal essay on social media. Through her essay, she stressed the importance of an annual mammogram, mentioning that her diagnosis came after she was six months late to her mammogram session. The veteran journalist and author, whose first husband Jay Monahan passed away from colon cancer in 1998, spoke openly about her health while asking her female fans to get mammograms. She shared that she had to be reminded of this during a visit to her OB-GYN.
"Please get your annual mammogram," wrote Couric, 65. "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." She further wrote in her essay that she learned of her cancer diagnosis after she had her mammogram — and a breast sonogram she routinely gets done to detect abnormalities that sometimes can't be seen through her dense breast tissue. Then, her doctor spotted something and wanted to look at it further, according to PEOPLE.
A biopsy came back as showing cancer in her breast.
"I felt sick and the room started to spin," the former talk show host wrote of the moment she learned of her diagnosis. "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. 'What does this mean? Will I need a mastectomy? Will I need chemo? What will the next weeks, months, even years look like?' "
Couric underwent a lumpectomy on July 14, 2022, and doctors removed a tumor she wrote was "2.5 centimeters, roughly the size of an olive." Pathology results revealed that her cancer was stage 1A. She also learned that the likelihood of cancer returning was "considered low enough to forgo chemotherapy."
She then shared that started radiation on September 7, 2022, with her final round occurring on September 27, 2022.
After imploring readers to get their annual mammograms, Couric lamented the state of "insurance companies [being required] to fully or partially reimburse patients for the cost of potentially lifesaving breast ultrasounds."
"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."
She went on to reveal that she'd be using her experience as a teachable moment.
"During the month of October, we'll be covering every aspect of breast cancer: the latest diagnostic tools, treatments, and prevention strategies as well as sharing first-person accounts," Couric concluded. "And of course, I'll have more on what I'm learning as I navigate my own diagnosis."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez