Katie Couric has been diagnosed with breast cancer, as she disclosed in a detailed essay on her website titled, “Why NOT Me?”
The Television Hall of Famer and longtime Today anchor said that she had been diagnosed in June. “Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States,” she wrote on Instagram. “On June 21st, I became one of them.”
Couric underwent surgery in July and began receiving radiation treatments in September. She added that while the tumor was larger than expected — 2.5 centimeters — her cancer staging was identified as 1a, suggesting it hadn’t spread. She said her risk of cancer returning is “considered low enough to forgo chemotherapy.”
Couric also spoke about her many experiences with cancer, from her husband Jay’s death of colon cancer in 1998, her now-husband John, who “had a tumor the size of a coconut on his liver, which was surgically removed just a few months before we got married,” and her sister Emily’s death of pancreatic cancer. “My mood quickly shifted from disbelief to resignation,” Couric wrote. “Given my family’s history of cancer, why would I be spared? My reaction went from ‘Why me?’ to ‘Why not me?'”
As the essay came to a close, she also urged everyone with breasts to get regular checkups. “Please get your annual mammogram,” she said. “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. 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.”
She wrote, “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.” Check out her Instagram post below.