Learn from TV host's surprise cancer diagnosis
BATON ROUGE - On Oct. 1, Good Morning America's Amy Robach agreed to get a mammogram on live TV in efforts to raise awareness and debunk the painful rumors about the test. It was a test, that ended up saving her life.
Shortly after the mammogram, Robach was called back for further testing. She was found to have breast cancer and will soon undergo a double mastectomy.
"The diagnosis, that's still hard for me to say out loud. I have breast cancer," said Robach.
A mammogram helps doctors catch tumors or abnormalities when they're small and before they spread from the breast.
"The earlier we start screening, the smaller the cancers are that we will find and the easier those are to treat," said Women's Hospital Diagnostic Radiologist Dr. James Ruiz.
Cancer can happen at any age, and to help catch breast cancer early, Ruiz says it's important to know your body and perform monthly self-exams. Women over 40-years-old should schedule a mammogram once a year. If there's a family history of cancer, start earlier.
Robach, 40, said she was putting off getting a mammogram because of her busy life-style. Doctors say others may be scared of the truth.
"You're scared because you're worried it might hurt. You're scared because you may get a result that you won't like. But in the end, it's better to get over that fear," said Ruiz. "Go ahead and get the exam done. Get it behind you."
Robach says she does not know what stage her cancer is, but will go forward with a preventative double mastectomy.
A mammogram cannot make a diagnosis. Ruiz says about 10 percent of women who get a mammogram require additional screening. Breast cancer is also found in men.
For more on Robach's story you can click here.