Katie Couric is opening up about her breast cancer diagnosis after getting a mammogram this summer.
The former TV anchor has been a long advocate of preventative cancer screenings after losing her first husband, Jay Monahan, to colon cancer in 1998. Couric said that during an annual pap smear her doctor reminded her that she was overdue for a mammogram.
She told her gynecologist she'd make an appointment for a mammogram "ASAP" and got screened on June 20. Couric said she handed the technician her cellphone to record the process but after seeing abnormal results, the doctor asked that they stopped filming.
The doctor called Couric the next day and confirmed that the abnormal tissue was cancer.
"I felt sick and the room started to spin," Couric wrote in an essay published Wednesday on her Katie Couric Media website. "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."
Immediately, the 65-year-old media personality began to think of people in her family who lost their lives to cancer. When she returned to the doctor's office she learned that the tumor on her breast was "highly treatable" with surgery, radiation and medication.
"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," Couric wrote. "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 revealed that she finished her last round of radiation Tuesday, a day before revealing the diagnosis to the world. She added that other than her breast looking like she's been "sunbathing topless," she "felt fine."
As she heals from treatment Couric says she wanted to spread a message about the importance of getting an annual mammogram while also giving a warning that many women with "dense breasts" like herself, may want to get additional screening.
"I was six months late this time. I shudder to think what might have happened if I had put it off longer," she wrote.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Katie Couric diagnosed with breast cancer after missing a mammogram