Former Good Morning America co-host Joan Lunden had her annual mammogram in early June 2014 and the result was negative. She also had her usual follow-up ultrasound, because her breasts have dense, fibrous tissue. This time, however, a tumor was identified in her right breast, which a core biopsy later confirmed to be cancer.
"I sat there stunned — how could this be?" Lunden shared in her blog. "I considered myself fit and healthy, I get checked faithfully every year, and I didn’t have a history of breast cancer in my family."
She took immediate action and underwent chemotherapy. At the same time, Lunden, whose father was a cancer surgeon, is using her experience to raise awareness about the importance of cancer screenings, breast self-exams, and early detection.
"I know I have a challenge ahead of me in this journey, however I have chosen to take it as an opportunity to fulfill my father's legacy and try to inspire others to protect their health," she wrote in her blog.
The former E! News host and star of E!'s Giuliana & Bill show revealed she had been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in October 2011. The then 36-year-old Rancic had gotten a mammogram before receiving another round of IVF treatment for infertility when her doctor discovered the tumor. In December 2011, she underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
Rancic refused to let her diagnosis get in the way of having children. She and her husband had a son via surrogate in August 2012. A year later she launched Fab-U-Wish, an initiative that grants fashion, beauty, and celebrity-themed wishes to women undergoing treatment for breast and ovarian cancer, which she now operates in partnership with the nonprofit organization The Pink Agenda.