Breast Cancer Awareness
- ‘Good Morning America’ co-host Amy Robach has been a leading voice in the breast cancer community ever since she was diagnosed back in 2013.
- After her tumor was detected and Amy was found to have stage 2 invasive breast cancer, she had a bilateral mastectomy and six months of chemotherapy. The Michigan native, who is married to Melrose Place star Andrew Shue, has been cancer-free for nine years.
- Screening for breast cancer is typically done via mammogram, which looks for lumps in the breast tissue and signs of cancer. And while mammograms aren’t perfect, they are still a great way to begin annual screening.
Speaking to Hello Magazine, the 49-year-old mom of two touched on how “incredibly scary” it was to receive a breast cancer diagnosis as a mother, knowing that her daughters would be at a higher risk for the disease. “They will be going through testing, perhaps that I didn’t have at an earlier age,” Amy said.Read More
Amy, who has been an advocate for breast cancer research since her diagnosis, admitted that her daughters will be getting baseline mammograms earlier than most women out of precaution.
.@ABC News anchor @arobach opens up about the lessons she learned while battling breast cancer in 2013: "Realize how precious time is and no one is guaranteed a tomorrow." 💗 https://t.co/9BUBbAnKcD pic.twitter.com/aCkglXFn8p
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 29, 2020
“This is about awareness, we all need to realize that we have to be our own advocates,” Amy said.
She concluded, “I want to make sure all women, everyone’s daughters, everyone’s sisters, and I know men too, of course, can be diagnosed with breast cancer as well, [are more aware.] Just awareness, prevention, education, these are all huge, huge proponents to making sure we get those numbers down.”
Back in 2013, GMA’s Robin Roberts, a breast cancer survivor herself, is the person who encouraged Amy to get a mammogram, and she did it on-air as part of the morning show’s breast cancer awareness campaign.
The testing led to Amy learning she had stage 2 invasive breast cancer that had spread to her sentinel lymph nodes.
After her tumor was detected, she had a bilateral mastectomy and six months of chemotherapy. The Michigan native, who is married to Melrose Place star Andrew Shue, has been cancer-free for nine years. A few years back, Amy told SurvivorNet that in an almost ironic way, breast cancer brought her and her husband closer, and actually saved their marriage.
More recently, teamed up with SheKnows to raise awareness, where she talked about how her news was received at times, with many people glancing down at her boobs as she spoke with them. “I know the news is down here,” she noted, gesturing to her breasts, ‘but I’m up here,” she said, pointing to her head and face.
“I have always believed in the power of one voice, and if you tell your story, you don’t even know the amount of people you impact—the ripple effect you have,” the journalist said of the bigger picture with advocacy.
Amy’s Experience with Breast Cancer
If you’ve been recently diagnosed, anger is a very natural response upon receiving difficult news. But from that anger, something pretty amazing can come.
That’s the experience Amy Robach had when she took on breast cancer. Amy sat down with SurvivorNet for an earlier interview to discuss a few of the trials and tribulations you go through as you take on cancer.
As a seasoned journalist who has been on the ground at major events and disasters, Amy always considered herself a compassionate person. However, after facing cancer, Amy says she developed a new kind of compassion that wasn’t possible before her experience with the disease.
“Cancer is something that has changed my life forever, something that I will always live with,” Amy expressed. “There’s anger at first because you’ve lost security … and you’ve never had it to begin with, none of us actually have security, but you actually are grieving this loss of security because we all feel like there’s tomorrow. We all feel like there’s another day. When you get to something like this, you’re angry that you lost that. That that’s been taken away from you. From that anger, I think, grew compassion and empathy.”
Amy considers that loss of security one of the gifts that cancer can bring. “You truly, truly can feel other people’s pain in a way that you couldn’t have before.”
Understanding Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a common cancer that has been the subject of much research. Many women develop breast cancer every year, but men can develop this cancer too – though it is more rare, in part, due to the simple fact that they have less breast tissue.
Screening for breast cancer is typically done via mammogram, which looks for lumps in the breast tissue and signs of cancer. And while mammograms aren’t perfect, they are still a great way to begin annual screening. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends women begin mammogram screening for breast cancer at age 45.
Even still, we know that a breast cancer diagnosis can come at any age. Some experts insist that screening should begin at 40, or even 35, especially if you have a family history of breast cancer.
“If you haven’t gone through menopause yet, I think it’s very important that you have a mammogram every year,” say Dr. Connie Lehman, a professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the breast imaging clinic at Mass General Hospital in Boston.
“We know that cancers grow more rapidly in our younger patients, and having that annual mammogram can be lifesaving,” she continued to SurvivorNet in a previous interview. “After menopause, it may be perfectly acceptable to reduce that frequency to every two years.”
Dr. Lehman stated that her main concern is the women who have skipped two, three, or four years in between mammograms, or those who have never had one.
“We all agree regular screening mammography saves lives.”
Advocating for Your Health
Whether you are currently battling cancer or worried that you might have it, it’s always important to advocate for your health. Cancer is an incredibly serious disease, and you have every right to insist that your doctors investigate any possible signs of cancer.
“Every appointment you leave as a patient, there should be a plan for what the doc is going to do for you, and if that doesn’t work, what the next plan is,” Dr. Zuri Murrell, director of the Cedars-Sinai Colorectal Cancer Center, told SurvivorNet in a previous interview. “And I think that that’s totally fair. And me as a health professional – that’s what I do for all of my patients.
Contributing: SurvivorNet Staff