E! News anchor Giuliana Rancic announced this morning on “The Today Show” that she will undergo a double mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery next week.
The TV hostess, 37, revealed she had early-stage breast cancer in October and had a double lumpectomy later that month. But her husband, Bill Rancic, said the couple learned during a subsequent doctor’s visit that the cancer didn’t completely clear out of one breast.
The couple has long struggled with infertility, and Giuliana revealed that was a big part of her decision to have both her breasts removed.
“If I had chosen to just do another lumpectomy and then do radiation and then do anti-estrogen therapy, which means two to five years of medication, that basically puts me into early menopause, then I would have to put off having a baby for several years,” she said.
Another reason for her decision, she said, was to decrease the risk of the cancer coming back.
“With the double mastectomy, I have less than a 1 percent chance of getting it back. With another lumpectomy, radiation and medication, I could have seen 20 to 30 to 40 percent chance in my lifetime and for me it just wasn’t worth it.”
Rancic also wants to send out a positive message to other women that instead of being something to be ashamed of, a mastectomy is a life-saving operation.
“When they first told me mastectomy was an option, I said, ‘Absolutely not. Absolutely not. I am 37 years old. I don’t want to do it’ because to me, the word was very scary and it meant I would be disfigured.”
But a close friend had the same operation, and she realized that women in that situation can be beautiful, healthy and positive, a message Rancic said is important for women.
Above all else, however, the couple said while not all women in Rancic’s situation may opt for a double mastectomy, it was the right decision for her.
“It came down to was just choosing to live and not looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life.”