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Katie Couric shared her breast cancer diagnosis a year ago in a candid, vulnerable essay on Katie Couric Media. Now, one year later, the journalist is giving followers an update, and using the opportunity to encourage people to get screened and advocate for themselves.
In the video update, Couric says she’s “feeling really well,” albeit “a little creakier as I get older.” She continues, “I’m really trying to exercise, eat right, and I don’t really think about my breast cancer diagnosis… I feel very lucky every day that I was diagnosed at stage 1A and that it was highly treatable.”
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In her essay last year, Couric said getting the diagnosis came with a “heart-stopping, suspended animation feeling.” The journalist underwent a lumpectomy and radiation to treat the cancer and has spoken about the experience in the hopes of encouraging others to stay on top of their mammograms, as well as to raise awareness about the lack of high-level care many breast cancer patients receive.
“I get angry every day that not everyone has the access to quality healthcare which really is upsetting to me,” said Couric. She has lost multiple family members to cancer, including her husband and sister, and now feels “grateful” that hers was diagnosed early.
Couric shares that, emotionally, she felt she was able to deal with the breast cancer “because I dealt with such serious cancers before, where they were life-threatening and indeed life-ending.” In comparison to that experience, she said, “I wasn’t that impacted by this, as weird as that sounds.”
As for the physical recovery, Couric said it’s sometimes “hard to tell” how she’s doing. “Sometimes I think, is this because I’m older, I get a little more tired than I used to? Or is it because of the breast cancer or the aromatase inhibitors?” Still, she says, “in general I feel pretty well and I still have a lot of energy.”
And now, more than ever, Couric said she’s dedicated to doing her work. “[Breast cancer] made me more committed to now sharing what I learned from this experience just as I did with colon cancer,” she said. That includes being raising awareness about dense breasts, which Couric has (along with about 50 percent of all women, according to the CDC). People with dense breasts have a higher chance of getting breast cancer and the dense tissue can also make it harder to detect tumors via a mammogram, which means that additional screening is usually required.
After her experience, Couric is advocating for laws that require insurance companies to cover additional screenings for those with dense breasts. She also hopes to help women “ask the right questions and find out if they have dense breasts and what that means in terms of the additional screening they may need.”
“It’s given me yet another purpose,” Couric says of her breast cancer, “which is to inform women about not only breast cancer but about dense breasts in general.”
Before you go, check out these top products for breast cancer patients and survivors:
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