TV host Giuliana Rancic says two years after her breast cancer diagnosis, she has finally come to a point where the thought of cancer “doesn’t take over my life every day.”
Speaking to CBS News in the midst of breast cancer awareness month, Rancic — who underwent a double mastectomy — says, “I’m not as sad and, kind of, rattled by it as I used to be. Now it’s more about empowering other women, and talking about it in more positive way.”
Rancic explains the mastectomy at the age of 36 was “a personal decision to not have to look over my shoulder for the rest of my life. I just wanted to move on.” Despite her job at E! News, which has her covering red carpets and dissecting look on “Fashion Police,” Rancic says “Vanity is just not something that really exists in my life. I’m actually a very simple person, and I didn’t care what I looked like. I just wanted to get the cancer out.”
Breast cancer awareness month, Rancic says, should be a reminder to women to stay in touch with their doctors and keep the conversation going about monthly self exams and mammograms.
“I hear a lot of women come up to me and go, ‘My mom had breast cancer, I don’t have the gene, but maybe I’ll get the surgery,'” Ranic says. “I don’t know what sort of message people are getting, but it’s so important to know the facts.”
And she has a message for women who are considering preemptive mastectomy: “If you have breast cancer, it runs in your family or you have the gene and maybe you are thinking of having the surgery, talk to your doctor,” Rancic says. “Maybe it actually might make sense for you. But there are a lot of scenarios where a mastectomy would not make sense. So you have to make sure you’re going to a good doctor, getting a second opinion, which was a big deal in my case, and just that you know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s not a glamorous surgery by any means.”
In May, Angelina Jolie revealed she underwent double mastectomy to decrease her risk of breast cancer, sparking a nationwide conversation about the BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast cancer genes and prophylactic mastectomy.