Katie Couric was diagnosed with breast cancer over the summer and underwent surgery and radiation treatments that were completed this week.
The former “CBS Evening News” and “Today” anchor explained in an essay published Wednesday by Katie Couric Media, where she shared her diagnosis for the first time, that Couric learned of the cancer after a mammogram in June. She had missed a routine check-up that should have taken place about eight months into the pandemic.
“I was six months late this time. I shudder to think what would have happened if I had put it off longer,” she wrote, encouraging people to attend their own screenings and schedule additional tests when needed.
In a personal essay and on her essay and Instagram, Couric, 65, shared information about breast cancer.
“Every two minutes in the United States, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. On June 21st, I became one of them,” she wrote in a social media post shared Wednesday morning. “As we approach #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth, I wanted to share my personal story with all of you and encourage you to get screened and realize that you may fall into the category of women who need more than a mammogram.”
Members of Couric’s family have battled various forms of cancer in the past, including several close relatives. In 1998, journalist husband Jay Monahan died of stage 4 colon cancer at the age of 42. Her sister, Emily, died of pancreatic cancer when she was 54, and her mother and father were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and prostate cancer, respectively.
Despite her family’s medical history, Couric said she was initially surprised by her own diagnosis, noting that breast cancer was “new.” She later discovered that 85% of people diagnosed in the US have no family history.
“People who are going through the cancer experience, whether they are patients or caregivers, really need the support of other patients who have been there,”Couric during an appearance on “CBS Mornings” in 2019.
“You don’t understand what it’s like until you go through it,” she added. “And I remember being told, ‘Having cancer is the loneliest experience in the world.’ Which made me feel so bad because I couldn’t help him, he felt so alone.”
Couric’s final round of radiation was Tuesday.
“My left breast looks like I’ve been sunbathing topless, but other than that I feel fine,” she said.