NEW YORK — Katie Couric, a journalist and former TV anchor, revealed Wednesday that she has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer — and urged other women to be vigilant in watching out for the disease.
Couric, 65, said she was diagnosed in June after her doctor realized she was six months late for her regular preventative mammogram. She had the test and a routine breast ultrasound, which found something. A biopsy determined it was cancer.
"I felt sick and the room started to spin," Couric wrote in an essay published Wednesday to her website. She described her treatment: Surgery in July and radiation therapy this month — with yesterday being her final round.
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Couric said she now feels fine, despite some pink skin from the treatment.
Couric has long advocated for frequent cancer screenings after losing her first husband to colon cancer. She said she was sharing her story as a message to other women — especially those like herself who might need extra screening.
"Please get your annual mammogram," Couric wrote. "I was six months late this time. I shudder to think what might have happened if I had put it off longer. But just as importantly, please find out if you need additional screening."
She explained that she gets routine breast ultrasounds in addition to mammograms because she has dense breast tissue, a common factor that can make abnormalities harder to find.
The National Cancer Institute says breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer. It says women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year. Women 55 and older can switch to mammograms every two years or continue annual screenings.
It's also important for women to know how their breasts normally look and feel so they can tell their doctor about any changes. The Mayo Clinic has a guide to breast self-exams on its website.
Couric appeared on NBC and its "TODAY" show for years in the 90s and early 2000s before joining CBS Evening News and then ABC News. The Television Hall of Fame inductee went on to start a production company, Katie Couric Media, and publishes a daily newsletter.