Entertainment

Giuliana Rancic, Robin Roberts and Breast Cancer; TV Personalities Bravely Tell of Early Detection

Tue., Oct. 18, 2011 7:30 AM EST
by Terry Shropshire

 

Giuliana Rancic and husband, Bill

Giuliana Rancic, the host of the “E! Red Carpet,” sent shockwaves throughout the television world when she revealed that a routine mammogram revealed early stages of breast cancer. Former ESPN sports reporter and current “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts had a similar moment of horror in 2007.

These are just two examples of celebrity women who averted a tragedy due to meticulous attention to their health.

Granted, Rancic, 36, admitted that she had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the unwanted procedure four years earlier than she intended to start doing the annual checkups after her physician implored her to. Her adherence to this admonishment saved her life.

“Through my attempt to get pregnant for the third time, we sadly found out that I have early stages of breast cancer. It’s been a shock. A lot of people have been asking, we saw that you went and got IVF, are you pregnant? But sadly, we’ve had to put that off.”

Rancic’s dilemma as she and her medical team go to war with this malignant malady underscores the need for women of all ethnicities and ages to for early and constant check-ups and self-examinations are life-saving procedures.

Rancic’s already national profile was enhanced substantially when she signed on for a reality show with her husband to detail the trials and tribulations of trying to get pregnant and start a family. She’ll have surgery this week, then radiation for six weeks.

“I’m not going to give up” on trying to have a baby. “Now I truly believe God was looking out for me. Had I gotten pregnant, a few years down the line I could have gotten sicker. So the baby saved my life.”

Robin Roberts of "Good Morning America" and former ESPN anchor

Roberts’ discovery of her early stage breast cancer began, ironically, when she was preparing a tribute program for a beloved colleague’s failed battle with cancer four years ago.

“It all started a few weeks ago. We had gotten the news that our dear colleague and friend Joel Siegel had passed away and we began preparing for our special tribute show for him. I did a piece about Joel’s courageous battle with cancer, reporting on the way my friend had lived his life and been such a successful advocate for the importance of early cancer screenings,” Roberts began through her email account of her horrific discovery.

The jolt of that experience inspired her to do something that undoubtedly spared her life. “That very night when I went to bed, I did a self breast exam and found something that women everywhere fear: I found a lump.”

Upon discovery of a tumor in her breast, Roberts vacillated between horror and disbelief and feelings of betrayal.

“This can’t be. I am a young, healthy woman,” she said to herself. “Nevertheless, I faced my fear head on and made an appointment to see the doctor. Much as I was hoping the doctor would say it was nothing, she did a biopsy and confirmed that the lump I’d found was indeed an early form of breast cancer.”

Roberts has obviously defeated that medical monstrosity. Four years later, Roberts is a vibrant and vivacious contributor to one of TV’s most popular morning news program. She would not be had she not decided to do a self exam.

Let that be a lesson to all women — and men. Nothing is an effective deterrent to the spread of cancer in any form as regular medical checkups. –terry shropshire

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