A routine mammogram may have saved the life of Food Network star Sandra Lee, who announced today that she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Lee, who lives in New York with her partner of 10 years, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, is scheduled to undergo a double mastectomy this week.
On Tuesday morning, Sandra spoke with Good Morning America host Robin Roberts about her breast cancer diagnosis. Shortly after the interview aired, the 48-year-old chef and author shared the news on her Facebook page, noting that Robin’s own journey with both breast cancer and bone marrow disease inspired her to share her story with the public.
“I wanted you to know about the difficult news I recently received — I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I first shared this news publicly with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America today — because her own journey through this tough diagnosis was something that inspired me enormously — though I never dreamed I would be walking in her shoes. I am in good health. I have no family history.”
Lee, who was diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) in March, went on to say that she had no warning signs, was not tired, and had no lump. The routine mammogram was the only signal that her health was in danger.
During her interview on Good Morning America(video above), Sandra told Robin Roberts that she was “stunned” when her doctor told her she had cancer.
“I didn’t even cry, I was stunned. You know, and that’s just how fast life turns. It turns on a dime.”
According to Breastcancer.org, DCIS is the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer, one that starts inside the milk ducts. This cancer is called “non-invasive” because it is contained in the ducts and has not spread into surrounding breast tissue.
Although DCIS is not a life-threatening cancer, there is a risk that it can develop into invasive breast cancer, something Sandra Lee wants to avoid by having a double mastectomy. She chose the surgery because she “did not want to be subjected to weeks of radiation” and states that she never wants “to go through this again.”
“Without early detection on my side, I could be telling a very different story — or not be here to tell it at all. I am taking the path that I believe gives me the best prognosis for a long and healthy life… I hope to be bringing you news of my recovery.
Sandra Lee ended her Facebook message with sound advice to other women, writing, “Take care — please be well, and PLEASE go get your mammograms.”