Katie Couric made a candid announcement about her health.
Couric, 65, went to a scheduled pap smear appointment in May. While at the doctor’s office, the gynecologist told her she was also due for a mammogram. The next month, the former “Today” show anchor booked a date for a mammogram. She recalled Dr. Drossman telling her that undergoing the biopsy was important because there’s “something here that I’d like to check out. It could be scar tissue.”
On June 21, Couric received an urgent text message from her doctor.
“A text came in: ‘Please call me in the office to discuss biopsy results. I tried calling you on your cell. Your mailbox is full,'” she detailed in her blog post.
Moments later, she was told she had breast cancer.
“When I called back, Dr. Drossman picked up right away. ‘Your biopsy came back. It’s cancer. You’re going to be fine but we need to make a plan,'” she wrote.
Couric recalled feeling “sick” and noted that “the room started to spin.” A number of questions began to race through her mind as she thought about the next steps forward. She also couldn’t help but think about the history of cancer within her family, including her former husband, Jay Monahan, who passed away in 1998 after battling colon cancer.
“My sister Emily’s pancreatic cancer, which would later kill her at 54, just as her political career was really taking off,” she explained. “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.”
Despite the tragedies, Couric said some of her family members had “better outcomes”; her parents both underwent cancer treatment.
“We decided I would have ‘breast conservation’ surgery, a.k.a. a lumpectomy,” she wrote, sharing the plan devised by her and Dr. Drossman. “She would make an incision right around my areola. She said she’d try to make sure any scars would be covered by my bathing suit — the furthest thing from my mind.”
Couric underwent the surgery on July 14. Her pathology results saw clean lymph nodes. However, the plan was to still undergo radiation and medication for the next five years.
This month, she began radiation.
“I can’t tell you how many times during this experience I thanked God that it was 2022,” Couric said referring to the COVID-19 pandemic which saw many patients’ appointments get postponed. “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.”