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TV chef Sandra Lee opens up about her battle with breast cancer

Food celeb Sandra Lee revealed in a tearful Good Morning America interview Tuesday that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She will undergo a double mastectomy this week.

The Semi-Homemade Cooking With Sandra Lee star received the news on March 27 after she had gone in for what she thought was a normal mammogram. She was diagnosed with DCIS or ductal carcinoma in situ. DCIS is a common noninvasive cancer–if treated–contained within the milk ducts.

The lifestyle guru and cookbook author spoke to GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts, who is a breast cancer survivor, about when she got the news. She had just finished up a photo shoot for the Most Beautiful issue of People magazine. Twenty minutes after leaving the set, she got the call from her doctor.

Lee said the news stunned her, as it would anyone. She admitted that she “didn’t even cry,” and she said life “turns on a dime.”

Thankfully, the doctors caught the cancer early. She has had a lumpectomy and is getting ready for her second surgery, as reported by ABC.

Lee also spoke to Roberts about her treatment plan in the GMA interview, which was recorded Friday. She said that after the lumpectomy was performed, she “did not have clean margins.”  So she went back to her radiologist and was told that she would undergo radiation treatment for six to eight weeks.

And if that were not already enough, doctors suggested that she have a mastectomy. When Lee asked if she should have just one done, her doctors and radiologist said “I would just get them both done.” Her doctors called her a “ticking time bomb.”

So she complied and chose to go through with the surgery. She said she does not want to go through the radiation and she never wants “to go through this again.”

Lee said that Cuomo has been supportive through this process and that he is even going to be in the operating room with her when she has the surgery. A statement released by the governor’s office Tuesday said that Cuomo was “devastated” by the news, but he is thankful doctors caught it early.

Cuomo added that this situation really “puts life in the proper perspective” and reminds him of what is important. He said that he expects to take some personal time to spend with Lee. He also said that anyone who is familiar with Lee and her story will not be surprised that she is handling the situation with “determination, resolve and grace.”

Lee plans to spread the word about early detection after her surgery. She said that her doctor called her “a poster girl for mammography.” She chose to speak publicly about her diagnosis because she does not want younger women in their 20s and 30s to delay testing.

“Go pick your phone up, and call your doctor and get your rear end in there and get a mammogram right now,” Lee said.

About Meredith Rodefer

Meredith Rodefer
Meredith Rodefer is a freelance writer, who focuses on anything from lifestyle blogging to hard news, and dancer. Beyond Youth Independent, she has written for sites such as Natmonitor.com, CheekyChicago.com and FamilyFocusBlog.com. Contact Meredith: meredith.rodefer@youthindependent.com