As a correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America and former NBC reporter, Amy Robach was used to being coaxed into trying new things live on-air, but what she did in October may have saved her life. Yesterday, she revealed that she has breast cancer, and will soon undergo a double mastectomy to fight the disease.
In October, GMA producers encouraged Amy to undergo her first mammogram, on-air, to kick off breast cancer awareness month. At 40, the busy wife and mother knew she was within the target age for her first mammogram but had never taken the time to do it. On Monday she spoke with colleague and recent breast cancer survivor, Robin Roberts. “Between flying all over the world for work, and running around with my kids to school and ballet and gymnastics like so many women, I just kept putting it off,” she explained.
Initially, Robach was reluctant about having the procedure filmed, knowing it would be viewed in front of millions but after coworkers and family members urged her to do it, she agreed. She approached the assignment with the hope that by showing women how relatively painless and quick the procedure would be, she might encourage others to have it done. Because of her healthy lifestyle and no family history of the disease, she wasn’t worried about the results. The procedure she hoped would save a life, has ultimately turned out to be her own.
In 2013, nearly 250,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the United States. Due to early screening, treatment advances and increased awareness, a majority of those lives will be saved. It’s up to women to be diligent about their own health by performing self-exams, keeping annual gynecological visits, and undergoing mammograms.
Amy, who was joined by her husband, actor Andrew Shue, of “Melrose Place” fame, told the Good Morning America audience that she will be taking a leave of absence while she undergoes the bilateral mastectomy and subsequent reconstructive surgeries. She will not find out the extent of the cancer until she has the procedure. “There’s a lot you don’t know until you have the surgery,” she told viewers, “I don’t know about chemo. I don’t know what stage I am. I don’t know if it has spread. So we’ll find out those things in the weeks to come.”
On Twitter, Robach thanked all those who had reached out to her since the diagnosis:
Gratitude..For all who have written, tweeted, called, kept me in their prayers. Spread the word, save lives. http://t.co/rrw0NYljLj
— Amy Robach (@arobach) November 11, 2013
Photo via NY Daily News