Former Today cohost Katie Couric revealed she was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 21, 2022. The broadcaster shared the experience of finding out her diagnosis after getting her annual mammogram in her newsletter.
“I felt sick, and the room started to spin,” she wrote. “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.”
Katie was encouraged to go for her mammogram after her gynecologist pointed out that her last screening was in December 2020. The journalist scheduled her exam right away. Her doctor decided to do a biopsy of tissue in her breasts before she got the call that she had cancer, leading her to feel a familiar array of emotions since losing her husband, Jay Monahan, to colon cancer in 1998.
“The heart-stopping, suspended animation feeling I remember all too well came flooding back: Jay’s colon cancer diagnosis at 41 and the terrifying, gutting nine months that followed,” she continued. “My sister Emily’s pancreatic cancer, which would later kill her at 54, just as her political career was really taking off. My mother-in-law Carol’s ovarian cancer, which she was fighting as she buried her son, a year and nine months before she herself was laid to rest.”
Since her husband’s passing, Katie and her two daughters, Elinor and Caroline, have long been advocates for colon cancer screening. She shared her diagnosis with her daughters four days after finding out and revealed “they began to cry.”
“They’d already lost one parent,” the mom of two wrote. “The idea of losing another was unfathomable.”
The Virginia native underwent two pre-op procedures before having a lumpectomy on July 14 to remove the tumor. In early September, Katie began undergoing radiation and marked her final round on September 27. She finished off her newsletter by encouraging readers to get their annual screenings.
“Please get your annual mammogram,” she shared. “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.”
The New York Times bestselling author also shared photos from her time in the hospital, undergoing treatments and visiting doctors. On her Instagram page, she posted a heartfelt caption about her diagnosis.
“Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States,” Katie penned. “On June 21st, I became one of them. As we approach #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth, I wanted to share my personal story with you all and encourage you to get screened and understand that you may fall into a category of women who needs more than a mammogram.”