Nov. 12, 2013 at 10:03 AM ET
Former TODAY anchor and current ABC News correspondent Amy Robach announced Monday on "Good Morning America" that she has breast cancer, a diagnosis revealed only after she reluctantly underwent her first mammogram live on-air.
Robach, 40, made the announcement on "GMA" as a follow-up to the live mammogram she underwent Oct. 1 to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness month. She acknowledged she had put off getting the procedure done for a year, even though she knew her age warranted one. She spoke about how "GMA" anchor Robin Roberts, a breast cancer survivor, convinced her she should have the procedure done publicly.
“If I got the mammogram on air and it saved one life, then it’s all worth it, she had said," Robach said. "It never occurred to me that life would be mine."
Robach will undergo a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery on Thursday, she wrote in a post for ABC News.
“Only then will I know more about what that fight will fully entail, but I am mentally and physically as prepared as anyone can be in this situation,” she said.
Robach's former NBC colleagues expressed their surprise at the news, and support for her, through a series of tweets.
On Tuesday, the TODAY anchors expressed their best wishes for Robach, admiring her strength and bravery.
"We want to send her our love and support and tell her we are thinking of her and (her) family," said Matt Lauer. "We're rooting for her."
Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee also sent their well wishes to Robach, who they worked with for years when she was at NBC.
"Amy's one of the coolest, strongest people I know," said Hoda.
A breast cancer survivor herself, Hoda said she shared a story with Robach that had changed her outlook when she got her own diagnosis. A man told her, "I know a lot of women with breast cancer and the all have one thing in common: They're still here," Hoda recalled, saying those those words stayed in her head throughout her fight against breast cancer.
Robach said Monday she feels lucky she caught her cancer early, and thanked her producers and everyone else who urged her to get the mammogram that doctors confirmed saved her life.
“I was also told this: For every person who has cancer, at least 15 lives are saved because people around them become vigilant. They go to their doctors, they get checked,” she said. “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. No excuses. It is the difference between life and death.”