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Giuliana Rancic Double Mastectomy Shocker Should Wake Other Women Up

by Emily Abbate on December 5, 2011 at 11:35 AM

giuliana rancicThis 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:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

Have you or anyone you know ever had a mastectomy?

 

Image via Today

Filed Under: breasts, cancer, celebrities, celebrity

Comments

27
  • bills...
    --

    billsfan1104

    December 5, 2011 at 11:49 AM
    I wish all the best for her. I know what it is like to have a mastsectomy. I had a single one, but I still feel deformed and other days I feel like I can conquor the world. I love knowing that so far, I have beat this cancer, and am doing everything to keep it away. She has so much support and a positive attitude that she will get through this with grace and courage. God Bless her and her family
  • sueccc
    --

    sueccc

    December 5, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    My daughters and I are BRCA2 positive .. my 25 year old had a prophalactic double mastectomy.  I did too, and fortunately I did, as they found early stage cancer during the process which was not detected by Mammo. I understand the feeling about the breast, but the choice of life, and not worrying daily, makes the difference. My heart and prayer goes out to her and Bill.


  • Melissa
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Melissa

    December 5, 2011 at 1:06 PM
    I made the same choice at age 27 . On Dec. 4th I will celebrate 2 years cancer free!! It was a very painful choice but one I will never regret ... I have a small son and we were trying for our second when our worlds collapsed ... I know how she feels and will continue to pray for them both . Keep your head up Giuliana !!
  • Sonja...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Sonja Palencar Acevedo

    December 5, 2011 at 1:08 PM
    My heart goes out to Giuliana. I myself was diagnosed with non invasive Breast Cancer in June of 2010. I had a lumpectomy in July 2010 and it was still there. I choose to have a bilateral mastectomy and had that done October 2010. Reconstruction took time for my skin was to thin, but by April 2011 my body was complete. I want to thank my doctors who did an amazing job. It takes time but you will be happy you did it. God Bless you and Best of luck. Sonja Acevedo
  • Janet...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Janet Manno Dalbo

    December 5, 2011 at 1:15 PM
    My prayers go out to Giuliana and Bill. I had a double mastectomy in 2005 after learning I had breast cancer in one breast. From having one cancerous lump to 3 in right breast, my husband and I decided to remove both. I had reconstruction done at the same time. My mom passed away from breast cancer. It was a hard decision to lose part of yourself, but was better than losing your life to cancer. I did have reoccurence again this year in rib and am again fighting.
  • Elise...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Elise Dorman Bair

    December 5, 2011 at 1:44 PM
    I have had a double mastectomy when BC was found in only one breast. I am also positive for BRCA2 gene and chose to have the hysterectomy as well. All at age 42. After the mastectomy and chemo, I now have "no evidence of disease" as the doc says. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Breast reconstruction looks great if you find a good plastic surgeon.
  • Franc...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Francesca Wella

    December 5, 2011 at 2:21 PM
    I was diagnosed with cancer i my right breast June 9, and after talking to my surgeon told the odds of developing cancer in my left there was no question that I would have a double mastectomy with transplant at same time on July 20. It is very uncomfortable especially the drains and I had 4 but with a great husband, wonderful surgeons 2 weeks ago I had my gel inserts in and will have final stage in February. I do not feel I have lost my feminity I am just blessed to be able to operate normally after 6 months of trying to be positive. You have to look at the cup half full, every day is a day closer to being healed. I would love to be able to tell her it was a very wise choice and to keep happy. I have only had hormones no chemo or radiation.
  • Penny
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Penny

    December 5, 2011 at 3:28 PM
    Giuliana, I wish you complete recovery from Breast Cancer.. I am a 10 year survivor and so very thankful that Breast Cancer did not take my life. My prayers are with you and I wish you strength as you fight the fight..
  • Rita...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Rita Allee

    December 5, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    I can't emphasize enough how strong you all are.  Thank you all for sharing your stories with us.  I pray for all of you and for Giuliana.  


  • Jenni...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Jennifer Potts

    December 5, 2011 at 5:18 PM
    At 39 I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma in my Right Breast. My decision was a Bilateral Mastectomy. Luckily my insurance company approved removing both. I had reconstruction at the same time as removal. I agree with the above SURVIVOR I have days I feel sexy with fake breasts and days I look in the mirror and cry. I am a survivor and will live to see my grandchildren even if it is with fake breasts. I encourage all the women in my life to do their breast checks and mammograms. I found the lump and was originally told it was a fybroid. I thank God daily for my physician not giving up and fighting with a certain hospital to do the byopsy. Had my physician and I listened to them I would not have been only stage 1. I had a very aggressive cancer that changed in the 4 weeks from detection to surgery. A thumbs up go out to all survivors. We are strong.
1-10 of 27 comments

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