"Every time I get a chance to talk about it I try to do that," the former "Today" anchor tells PEOPLE about the importance of breast cancer screenings
Katie Couric is sharing a update on her health after her battle with breast cancer.
"I'm a living, walking example of the importance of early detection and getting screened," Couric, 66, told PEOPLE on Tuesday at the American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala in New York.
"I was very fortunate," she says. "My cancer was caught very, very early when it's most treatable, and if I can just be an advertisement for people to get screened, to get their mammography done, to talk to their doctors, and if they have dense breasts, to get additional screening."
"It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month," says Couric, whose first husband Jay Monahan died of colon cancer at age 42. "It's something that I talk about all year round, but especially this month when everybody is so focused on it," she continues.
She adds: "I've been writing a lot about this in my newsletter, which goes out to a million people. I'm trying to spread the word on social media and really every time I get a chance to talk about it I try to do that. I try to use my platform in a really positive way."
Couric, who is now married to John Molner, revealed her diagnosis with breast cancer diagnosis in September 2022.
At the time, she explained in a personal essay that she learned she had cancer after a madd was found through a mammogram and breast sonogram — another screening method that detects abnormalities in dense breast tissue.
A biopsy of the mass came back as cancerous.
"I felt sick and the room started to spin," Couric wrote of the moment she learned of her diagnosis. "I was in the middle of an open office, so I walked to a corner and spoke quietly, my mouth unable to keep up with the questions swirling in my head. 'What does this mean? Will I need a mastectomy? Will I need chemo? What will the next weeks, months, even years look like?' "
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Couric had a lumpectomy on July 14, 2022, and doctors removed a tumor that was "2.5 centimeters, roughly the size of an olive," she wrote at the time.
Since her diagnosis, the journalist has been advocating for the importance of early detection.
"This #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth, help me spread the word that screening saves lives," she wrote on Instagram in October 2022. Share a photo with whoever or whatever inspires you to put your health first, and share it on social using the hashtag, #IScreenYouScreen."
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