Good Morning America’s Amy Robach had been putting off getting a mammogram for a while, despite her understanding of how important they become once you reach the age of 40 years old.
Last month, Robach finally agreed to take part in an on-air mammogram screening, which was a part of the show’s Pink Initiative. The Pink Initiative encourages viewers to get checked for breast cancer in an effort to further an awareness of the disease during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Robach couldn’t know at the time that she was actually making what would become a crucial decision for her health and her future.
Robach was diagnosed with breast cancer last week after doctors followed up on her initial on-air mammogram with subsequent testing.
If Good Morning America’s aim was to encourage more viewers to get checked, Robach’s diagnosis couldn’t be any more encouraging. Unnerving is the fact that Robach has no history of breast cancer in her family. If this isn’t enough to push you into making that mammogram appointment, nothing will.
Robach married former Melrose Place star Andrew Shue in 2010, and the two have three stepsons and two daughters together. Robach admits that telling her children was the hardest part of her diagnosis, but she admitted that it’s moments like that that give you the strength you need so that you can be strong for others.
What’s even scarier is that Robach does not currently know what stage her cancer is in or if it has spread. However, she has decided to take the supremely brave route of opting for a bilateral mastectomy, which is scheduled for November 14.
Other celebrities to have undergone this procedure include, most recently, Angelina Jolie, as well as Christina Applegate, Sharon Osbourne, Kathy Bates, Wanda Sykes, Olivia Newton-John, and…Richard Roundtree?
Yes, even men can get breast cancer. The American Cancer Society has determined that a man’s risk over the course of his life of developing breast cancer is at a ratio of 1 in 1,000. Roundtree was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was 51 years old when doctors found a tumor in his right breast. Subsequently, Roundtree underwent a mastectomy, as well as radiation and chemotherapy.
Roundtree was initially hesitant to announce his diagnosis to the public, as he was concerned that it would hurt his chances at acquiring acting jobs if they determined he was no longer eligible for the requisite insurance. Roundtree eventually used his diagnosis for good and has become an advocate for raising awareness about male breast cancer. He now has experience as a public speaker for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
So, if you ever (hopefully not) have to have a bilateral mastectomy, you can rest assured that you are in good company.
Robach is thoroughly grateful for the mammogram, and she credits colleague Robin Roberts with inspiring her to finally have the procedure done. Roberts had told Robach that if her on-air mammogram had saved one life, then it would have all been worth it. However, Robach admitted, she never expected that the life she would end up saving would be her own.
Moral of the story: If you’re of age for a mammogram, get one!