This morning on the Today show, E! News host Giuliana Rancic made a life-changing announcement. After undergoing a double lumpectomy in October that failed to eradicate her breast cancer, the 37-year-old has decided to move forward with a double mastectomy. Undoubtedly, making the choice to go through with such a radical procedure wasn't easy for Rancic and her husband Bill. However, the odds of the cancer returning afterward are less than 1 percent -- and that was all the couple needed to hear.
"In the end," Rancic told Today show host Ann Curry, "it all came down to just choosing to live and not looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life."
The thought of a double mastectomy is frightening for any woman. To lose what many of us consider to be a defining part of our identity is no small thing. Giuliana has the added challenge of being constantly in the spotlight and, therefore, constantly open to scrutiny and criticism -- not just of her body but of her life choices, too. The fact that she is making such a brave, life-altering decision should provide inspiration for other women contemplating the same difficult option.
Rancic's determination shows that she truly refuses to be a victim of this disease, and it's very empowering. Dealing with the situation in such a public fashion makes her a role model for other breast cancer patients, and shows women who are battling breast cancer everywhere that it's important to keep fighting the disease no matter how much of an emotional and physical burden it may be.
This morning, Rancic told Curry that if she opts for the alternative -- another lumpectomy followed by radiation and medication -- she might have a 20 to 40 percent chance of the cancer returning in her lifetime. That statistic alone makes me believe that she definitely made the right choice. As a woman who hopes to have kids one day, Giuliana is confident she wants to leave this disease behind for GOOD before starting the next chapter in her life. I hope that the mastectomy will enable her to do so.
I can't imagine living without my breasts. My gals are a huge part of what makes me feel sexy as a woman. As frightening as that thought is, though, the thought of having cancer and it progressing is much worse. Giuliana and her husband have the right attitude as they look forward to the finish line, praying that by Christmas, they can put this obstacle behind them.
My best wishes go out to Giuliana, her husband, and the rest of her family. Watch the Rancics speak about the hard decision on this clip from Today:
Have you or anyone you know ever had a mastectomy?
Image via Today