E! News host Giuliana Rancic just announced she’s making one of the hardest decisions a woman will ever face: She’ll soon be undergoing a double mastectomy to treat her breast cancer.
Appearing on The Today Show Monday morning, Giuliana explained her choice to host Ann Curry as husband Bill Rancic kept a protective arm around her shoulder.
Giuliana, 37, was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in both breasts during a mammogram earlier this year. She underwent surgery to remove the growths and affected lymph nodes, but doctors recently told the couple that they couldn’t get “clean margins” – meaning that some cancer cells still remain.
Followers of the couple’s reality show, Giuliana and Bill, know all about the struggle and heartbreak they’ve been through in their quest to start a family. Last year, Giuliana became pregnant after in vitro fertilization treatment, but miscarried at nine weeks. Two other IVF rounds were unsuccessful.
Naturally, the Rancics’ desire for children played a “big part” in Giuliana‘s choice. Her other medical option would have involved taking estrogen-suppressing medication for two to five years to keep her cancer from recurring – putting her into early menopause. But Bill adds that “quality of life” was the main factor in their decision. More surgery, radiation and medication would mean months of doctors’ appointments, constant worry and a 20-30 percent chance of recurrence. The mastectomy cuts those odds down to less than 1 percent.
For any breast cancer survivor, support is crucial – and Bill has been his wife’s rock during the ordeal. In addition to helping her weigh the pros and cons of the choice, he assured her that he’ll love her no matter what. “Bill said to me, ‘I just need you around for the next 50 years, kid, so let’s just get you healthy’,” Giuliana told Curry.
This could prove to be a very smart move on Giuliana‘s part. Some 15 percent of all breast cancers occur in patients under 35, and in this age group, the disease tends to be more aggressive and deadly. (For more info on breast cancer in young women, check out the Young Survival Coalition.)
Kudos to Giuliana and Bill for sharing their story. We hope they’ll have happier news to report very soon.
[Photo Credit: Pacific Coast News]