Former Good Morning America host Joan Lunden has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The sixty-three year old Lunden, who hosted GMA from 1980-1997, made the announcement this morning on GMA, talking to current host Robin Roberts, a breast cancer survivor.
Lunden also placed a statement on her website, Joan Lunden’s Healthy Living:
“Two weeks ago I went for my annual mammogram as I do every year religiously, and thankfully it was all clear. That is always the moment where I feel I can breathe again. However for women who have dense fibrous breast tissue, as I do, often our doctors will recommend an ultrasound as well. My ultrasound that day revealed a tumor in my right breast. After a core biopsy was performed, I heard those words that every woman fears and that I never thought I’d hear: ‘you have breast cancer’.”
Lunden’s treatment will consist of a lumpectomy, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, which she has already begun.
Coincidentally, current GMA news anchor Amy Robach had also been diagnosed with breast cancer in November, after she underwent a screening mammography live on GMA. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy, followed by 8 rounds of chemotherapy. Robach remained on the air throughout the process, only taking a week off to undergo reconstructive surgery.
“The funny thing is I actually have thanked ABC News several times for letting me come back so quickly. I wanted to have something in my life to focus on other than doctors and needles and medicines and just looking at numbers and statistics and waiting for tests. It was such an amazing distraction. And interestingly enough, being afraid of what I might say or what I might forget to say on the air was just another part of the overall fear of cancer — it invades your body, it invades your mind.
Yesterday, she did an in-depth interview the New York Daily News , revealing some of the side effects she has experienced due to the chemotherapy- most notably difficulties with her memory.
“The chemo brain, the chemo fog, is a real thing. I would have conversations with people, they would take pictures with me after the show and they would send them to me and say thank you and it took my breath away — it upset me tremendously because I actually wouldn’t be able to remember taking that picture or having a conversation, and for me that was one of the hardest side effects of chemo. I was so afraid I was gonna drop the ball or just do or say something stupid because I wasn’t in my sharpest mode.