NEW YORK (AP/WJLA) - A month after undergoing a mammogram on "Good Morning America," ABC's Amy Robach said Monday she has breast cancer and will have a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery this week.
The 40-year-old correspondent admitted she had been reluctant to have the public mammogram but went ahead after "GMA" anchor Robin Roberts told her that if the story saved one life, it would be worth it.
"It never occurred to me that life would be mine," she said.
Robach joined ABC in 2012 from NBC, where she was a "Weekend Today" host. She logged considerable time with the cast of ABC's top-rated morning show, filling in for Roberts, who has fought back from a serious blood and bone marrow disease.
"As scary as it is, I'm so, so lucky because you guys pushed me into that mammo-van, and thank God you did," Robach said on Good Morning America. "I know me, and I wasn't in any rush to have that done anytime soon.
"Little did I know that I would be a walking example of having a mammogram save my life."
Producers chose her for the mammogram story because, at 40, she's at the age when it's recommended that women regularly check for breast cancer. Married with two children and a full-time job, Robach said she had found plenty of reasons to put it off.
In her original story, she emerged from her mammogram telling Roberts and her "GMA" colleagues that it hurt much less than she thought it would.
A few weeks later, she returned for what she thought would be some follow-up images only to learn she had cancer. Her husband, who had been away on business, and her parents flew in that night "and we started gearing up for a fight."
She said she will learn after Thursday's surgery what her treatment will entail going forward.
Doctors have long reminded women to get themselves checked on a regular basis, and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Center Dr. Shawna Wiley says that women should not hide from the test.
"We don't want women to be fearful about what is going to be found, because it's not going away," Dr. Wiley said. "Even if they don't have their mammogram, if they bury their head in the sand, whatever is in their breast is still going to be there."
Robach said she was told that when someone gets cancer, many lives around them are saved because people are vigilant and get check-ups.
"I can only hope my story will do the same and inspire every woman who hears it to get a mammogram, to take a self-exam," she said. "No excuses. It is the difference between life and death."