Katie Couric, a former co-anchor of NBC’s “TODAY” show, announced Wednesday that she has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Couric, 65, began her most recent Instagram post by sharing a startling statistic — every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with the disease in the United States.
“On June 21st, I became one of them,” she wrote. “As we approach #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth, I wanted to share my personal story with you all and encourage you to get screened and understand that you may fall into a category of women who needs more than a mammogram.”
In an essay on her Katie Couric Media website, she revealed that she learned about her diagnosis on her eighth wedding anniversary to John Molner.
“I felt sick and the room started to spin. I was in the middle of an open office, so I walked to a corner and spoke quietly, my mouth unable to keep up with the questions swirling in my head,” she wrote.
Couric said her thoughts immediately went to other family members who had the disease, including her first husband, Jay Monahan, who died from colon cancer in 1998 at the age of 42.
“My mood quickly shifted from disbelief to resignation. Given my family’s history of cancer, why would I be spared? My reaction went from ‘Why me?’ to ‘Why not me?'” she wrote.
After coming up with a plan with her doctor, Couric underwent surgery July 14 and began radiation Sept. 7. Her last session was Tuesday, she wrote.
She said she wanted to share her journey to encourage other women to keep up with their exams.
“Please get your annual mammogram. 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 said.
Minyvonne Burke is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News.