Katie Couric says she has breast cancer

Katie Couric, former co-anchor of the Today Show, revealed on Wednesday that she has breast cancer, and urged other women to get annual mammograms.

Couric, 65, wrote about her June 21 diagnosis on her Katie Couric Media website.

Couric, an Arlington, Virginia native, found out about the cancer on her eighth wedding anniversary.


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Since June 21, she has undergone a lumpectomy or breast conservation surgery.

The tumor turned out bigger than expected, and was roughly the size of an olive, she wrote.

She said the doctors told her that the likelihood of her cancer returning was “considered low enough to forgo chemotherapy.”

Instead, Couric said she started radiation on Sept. 7.

“Throughout the process, I kept thinking about two things: How lucky I was to have access to such incredible care, since so many people don’t. And how lucky I was to be the beneficiary of such amazing technology. It made me feel grateful and guilty — and angry that there’s a de facto caste system when it comes to healthcare in America,” Couric wrote.

Couric, who is known for urging others to get screened for colon cancer following the death of her first husband Jay in 1998, said breast cancer does not run in her family.

Now, she is urging others to mammograms.

“Please get your annual mammogram. 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’s first-person essay on her cancer journey comes as a national survey by Orlando Health finds 22% of women between 35 to 44 have never had a mammogram and have no plans of getting one.

Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to WTOP.com in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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