Katie Couric’s Cancer Diagnosis: 3 Things You Need to Know

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Photo courtesy: Andrew Eccles/KCM

Katie Couric’s recent revelation that she survived breast cancer has people wondering about their own health. And that’s a good thing.

As Couric wrote on her blog: “to reap the benefits of modern medicine, we need to stay on top of our screenings, advocate for ourselves, and make sure everyone has access to the diagnostic tools that could very well save their life.”

With the most advanced diagnostic tools and cutting-edge treatment options available, Hoag Family Cancer Institute is here to answer all your questions, including:

Do I really need a mammogram? Yes. Couric expressed dismay that she was “late” by six months for her screening, a point that will hopefully spur people to schedule their own appointments, said January Lopez, M.D., medical director of breast imaging in the Hoag Breast Program.

Mammography is the gold standard of breast cancer screening,” she said. “The earlier a woman is diagnosed, the better her prognosis. It is important for every woman to work with her physician and stay on top of her mammography schedule.”

Am I at risk of breast cancer? The unfortunate truth is that all women are at risk of breast cancer. As Couric noted, she does not have a family history of breast cancer. While genes, lifestyle choices and other factors can increase a person’s risk, the risk of breast and ovarian cancer exists for every woman.

“It is important for women to seek out fellowship-trained breast radiologists,” Dr. Lopez said. “Hoag was the first in California to offer digital tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography, and our team is among the most skilled in the nation in interpreting the images from these advanced tools.”

What if I’m diagnosed with breast cancer? No two cancer experiences are alike. From breast conservation surgery to cutting-edge radiation treatments to molecular imaging and therapy clinical trials, Hoag will help you to determine the right path for you. And, Dr. Lopez said, your team will hold your hand the whole way.

“We are here for you,” she said. “Hoag is home to some of the most renowned breast cancer specialists in the country, the most cutting-edge technology and access to clinical trials. And we also lead with compassion. You’re not alone in this.”

For more information and to schedule your mammogram, visit https://www.hoag.org/specialties-services/breast-program/breast-screening/appointments/.

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