Katie Couric Reveals Devastating Cancer News With a Message for Others

The journalist is imploring her followers to get their breasts routinely checked.

“Your biopsy came back. It’s cancer,” was not the early morning chat Katie Couric was expecting to have with her breast radiologist on the first day of summer, June 21, 2022—let alone, on her eight-year wedding anniversary. The 65-year-old acclaimed journalist has just opened up about her breast cancer diagnosis in a personal essay published to her website on Sept. 28.

“Please get your annual mammogram,” Couric penned in her personal admission and plea to other women. “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.”

Couric shared that 45% of women in the U.S., including herself, have dense breasts, which can make it harder for mammograms to find abnormalities. So, your doctor may advise you to get an additional breast ultrasound. Had Couric not gotten the ultrasound, who knows if the mammogram would have picked up the olive-sized tumor inside her left breast.

She learned she had stage 1A breast cancer and the likelihood of a second diagnosis was “considered low enough to forgo chemotherapy.”

Couric spared no details in her essay. She jotted down every step, thought, and feeling she’s had along the way from the moment she received the call to her pre-op procedures and letting family know of her diagnosis. She also described the actual surgery (a lumpectomy) and her final radiation treatment.

While terrified of what the c-word meant for her mind and body, Couric’s family was also top of mind.

Couric’s first husband, Jay Monahan, died of colon cancer at age 41. Her sister, Emily, passed from pancreatic cancer at 54 years old. Within two years after Jay’s death, his mom, Carol, died from ovarian cancer. Her mother had non-Hodgkin lymphoma and her dad is a prostate cancer survivor. Moments before walking down the aisle, Couric’s now-husband, John Molner, underwent surgery to remove a coconut-sized tumor on his liver.

It wasn’t long before Couric went from “Why me?” to “Why not me?”

Couric concluded her essay reminding women of the importance of getting a routine mammogram—and don’t be afraid to ask your doctor if you qualify for additional screenings.

“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 wrote.

As we approach Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Katie Couric Media is dedicating its Wake-Up Call newsletter to exploring “every aspect of breast cancer: the latest diagnostic tools, treatments, and prevention strategies as well as sharing first-person accounts.”

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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