JOAN LUNDEN’S COURAGEOUS FIGHT

November 01, 2019 at 4:45 am

The journalist, author and former Good Morning America co-host shares intimate details of her battle and victory over breast cancer.

Aired on October 31, 2019.

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>> ONE IN EIGHT WOMEN WILL BE
DIAGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER
DURING THEIR LIFETIME.
AND WHILE WE KNOW SOME OF THE
REASONS FOR THE DISEASE, THE
GENETIC CAUSES HAVE NOT BEEN
VERY CLEAR UNTIL NOW.
ACCORDING TO TWO STUDIES
PUBLISHED IN THE JOURNALS
"NATURE" AND "NATURE GENETICS,"
RESEARCHERS FROM AROUND THE
WORLD DISCOVERED 72 PREVIOUSLY
UNKNOWN GENE MUTATIONS THAT LEAD
TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF BREAST
CANCER.
THEIR FOUNDINGS MAY HELP
IDENTIFY A SMALL PORTION OF
WOMAN WHO ARE AS A THREE TIMES
INCREASED RISK OF DEVELOPING THE
DEADLY DISEASE.
THOUGH SCIENCE OFFERS HOME IN
ONE DAY COMBATTING THE ILLNESS,
FOR WOMEN LIVING WITH IT, IT IS
A DAILY FIGHT FOR LIFE.
AND UNLESS YOU ARE A SURVIVOR,
THERE ARE SIMPLY SOME THINGS
ABOUT BREAST CANCER THAT YOU
CAN'T KNOW OR UNDERSTAND.
FORMER "GOOD MORNING AMERICA"
HOST JOAN LUNDEN WAS DIAGNOSED
IN 2014 AND HAS SINCE TAKEN THE
FOREFRONT IN THE FIGHT AGAINST
CANCER.
SHE IS NOW CANCER FREE AND READY
TO TELL HER STORY OF SURVIVAL.
WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM, JOAN.
>> IT'S MY PLEASURE TO BE WITH
YOU.
>> IT'S AN HONOR TO HAVE YOU
HERE.
SO, OF COURSE, WE ARE HUGE FANS
AND SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE FOLLOWED
YOUR STORY FROM WHEN YOU FIRST
GOT YOUR DIAGNOSIS.
I WANT YOU TO TAKE ME BACK TO
THAT MOMENT.
WHAT WENT THROUGH YOUR MIND WHEN
YOU FIRST HEARD THOSE TWO WORDS?
>> YOU KNOW IRK HAD DONE SO MANY
INTERVIEWS OVER THE YEARS OF
BREAST CANCER EXPERTS.
I KNEW THAT STATISTIC, ONE IN
EIGHT WOMEN WILL BE DIAGNOSED
WITH BREAST CANCER DURING THEIR
LIFETIME.
I DIDN'T HAVE IT IN MY FAMILY
HISTORY.
TO BE VERY HONEST, I JUST WAS
KIND OF NONCHALANT ABOUT IT.
I DON'T THINK I EVER INGESTED
THE INFORMATION FROM ALL OF THE
DIFFERENT CANCER EXPERTS THAT I
INTERVIEWED IN A PERSONAL WAY
LIKE THAT IT WAS REALLY GOING TO
AFFECT ME.
SO I WAS PRETTY SHOCKED WHEN I
HEARD THOSE WORDS.
AND BY THE WAY, I HAD A CLEAN 3D
MAMMOGRAM THAT DAY.
>> WOW.
>> AND THEN I WALKED ACROSS THE
HALL AND HAD AN YOULTRASOUND AN
HEARD THOSE WORDS, YOU HAVE
CANCER.
FROM THE OUTSET I FELT THIS
COMPELLING NEED TO GO OUT AND
EDUCATE WOMEN AND LET THEM HEAR
MY STORY SO THAT THEY KNEW THAT
THEY NEED TO FIND OUT IF THEY
HAVE VERY DENSE BREASTS.
AND YOU CAN'T TELL IT JUST BY
FEELING YOUR BREASTS.
IT'S SOMETHING THAT YOU FIND OUT
IN A MAMMOGRAM.
SO I HAVE JUST KIND OF BEEN OUT
ON THE SPEAKING TRAILS EVER
SINCE I WAS DIAGNOSED TRYING TO
H
HELP EMPOWER WOMEN WITH
INFORMATION.
THAT'S HOW "AT HOME WITH JOAN"
CAME ABOUT, WHICH IS KIND OF A
CLOSED COMMUNITY WHERE PEOPLE
CAN COME IN, THEY CAN EDUCATE
THEMSELVES, THEY CAN SOAK UP THE
INFORMATION, AND I BELIEVE THAT
IF WE SHARE OUR STORIES, THAT
OTHER PEOPLE LEARN.
SO I INTERVIEWED A LOT OF
PEOPLE.
AND THOSE INTERVIEWS LIVE ON THE
WEBSITE AS WELL AS, OF COURSE,
INTERVIEWS WITH ONCOLOGISTS AND
ONCOLOGY NURSES.
>> OF COURSE.
THAT SEEMS LIKE SOMETHING
REALLY, REALLY CRUCIAL FOR
PATIENTS TO HAVE A PLACE TO GO
TO TO LEARN ALL THE QUESTIONS
THEY NEED TO BE ASKING AND THE
DIFFERENT KINDS OF THERAPIES
THEY CAN GET.
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT FOR
PEOPLE TO BE THEIR OWN ADVOCATE?
>> THE GOOD NEWS IS RESEARCH IS
BEING DONE AT SUCH AN AMAZING
RATE, ANSWERS ARE COMING DOWN
THE PIPE.
NEW TREATMENTS ARE BEING MADE
AVAILABLE.
WHAT IT MEANS IS THAT IF YOU GET
THIS DIAGNOSIS OR YOU ARE KIND
OF HELPING SOMEONE WHO JUST GOT
THIS DIAGNOSIS YOU NEED TO GET A
COUPLE OF OPINIONS.
YOU NEED TO EDUCATE YOURSELF.
YOU NEED TO LEARN MORE ABOUT
YOUR SPECIFIC DISEASE.
IN BREAST CANCER, FOR WOMEN IT'S
VERY COMPLEX BECAUSE IT'S NOT
JUST ONE DISEASE.
IT'S DIFFERENT IN EVERY WOMAN.
SO IT MAKES IT MUCH MORE
DIFFICULT TO STUDY BREAST CANCER
AND TO COME UP WITH ANSWERS.
BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT IF YOU
CATCH IT EARLY ENOUGH, BREAST
CANCER, YOU HAVE A 99% CHANCE
THAT YOU'LL SURVIVE IT.
THAT'S AMAZING NEWS FOR WOMEN
TODAY.
AND I HOPE THEY HEAR THAT SO
THAT MANY WOMEN DON'T WANT TO
GET A MAMMOGRAM BECAUSE THEY ARE
AFRAID OF THE ANSWER.
WHAT YOU SHOULD BE AFRAID OF IS
AFRAID OF DYING.
TO ME KNOWLEDGE EMPOWERS US.
CERTAINLY IN THE HEALTH FIELD
KNOWLEDGE REALLY EMPOWERS US.
>> DO YOU FEEL AT ALL AS THOUGH
THE CONVERSATION AROUND BREAST
CANCER SEEMS TO BE CHANGING?
WE HAVE SEEN SOME VERY PROMINENT
YOUNG WOMEN COME OUT AND TALK
ABOUT GETTING TESTED FOR THE
BREAST CANCER GENE.
A LOT OF PEOPLE BEING VERY OPEN
ON SOCIAL MEDIA ABOUT THEIR
JOURNEYS THROUGH TREATMENT.
DO YOU FEEL AS THOUGH THAT'S
HELPING WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE
DEALING WITH THIS?
>> ABSOLUTELY.
YOU KNOW, IT USED TO BE THAT
NOBODY TALKED ABOUT THIS.
IT ACTUALLY USED TO BE THAT
DOCTORS SOMETIMES WOULDN'T EVEN
TELL A WOMAN SHE HAD BREAST
CANCER, WOULDN'T WANT HER TO
LIVE WITH THE ANXIETY, THERE WAS
NOTHING THEY COULD DO ABOUT IT
ANYWAY, AND OFTENTIMES WOMEN
WOULD LIVE WITH THIS SHAME
BECAUSE IT WAS SOMETHING THAT
WAS WRONG WITH YOUR BREASTS.
YOU KNOW, IT AFFECTS YOUR
FEMININITY AND YOUR SENSIBILITY
OF YOURSELF.
THANK GOODNESS THAT TIMES HAVE
CHANGED.
AND TODAY IT IS OKAY TO TALK
ABOUT IT.
THERE IS AN INCREDIBLE SENSE OF
COMMUNITY AMONG BREAST CANCER
SURVIVORS.
I NEVER USED TO REALLY TOTALLY
GET IT.
I'D SEE THESE EVENTS WITH
EVERYBODY WEARING PINK, BUT NOW
I DO.
NOW I UNDERSTAND THE STRENGTH
AND THE COMPASSION THAT IS
WAITING THERE FOR YOU IF IT'S,
YOU KNOW, YOUR TIME TO GO DOWN
THAT PATH.
SO I'M A PART OF THAT NOW.
WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF ON THE
OTHER SIDE OF A LIFE-THREATENING
DISEASE AS A SURVIVOR, I THINK
IT'S KIND OF A NATURAL INSTINCT
TO SAY, OKAY, YOU LET ME
SURVIVE.
THANKS.
I'M GOING TO PUT MY HAND OUT AND
I'M GOING TO HELP THE NEXT
PERSON THROUGH.
>> AND THAT SEEMS TO BE ONE OF
THE MOST CHALLENGING THINGS AS I
UNDERSTAND IT WITH ANY KIND OF
CANCER DIAGNOSIS, IS THE
DAUNTING GAUNTLET OF LIKE WHAT
COMES NEXT.
TREATMENT.
SECOND -- YOU KNOW, WHERE DO YOU
GO?
WHO DO YOU GET YOUR OPINIONS
FROM, ET CETERA.
SO HAVING A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE
CAN GO AND TALK ABOUT THAT
SOUNDS SO CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT
JUST FOR THE PATIENTS OWN MENTAL
HEALTH.
>> AND I THINK I KIND HAVE -- I
HAVE BEEN IN PEOPLE'S LIVING
ROOMS FOR THE LAST SEVERAL
DECADES.
>> YOU ARE A FAMILIAR FRIENDLY
FACE.
>> AND I THINK THAT PLAYS A PART
IN THIS THOUGH, YOU KNOW, THAT
THEY CONSUME INFORMATION FROM ME
A
IN A LITTLE BIT OF A DIFFERENT
WAY, WOMAN TO WOMAN, FRIEND TO
FRIEND.
I WAS IN YOUR LIVING ROOM.
WE ARE KIND OF ALMOST FAMILY.
AND I THINK THAT IS PART OF IT.
AND SO I'M REALLY PASSIONATE
ABOUT THIS ENDEAVOR OF MINE TO
GO OUT AND EDUCATE NOT JUST
WOMEN, BUT ANYONE DEALING WITH
ANY CANCER DIAGNOSIS.
BUT "AT HOME WITH JOAN"
CAMPAIGN, IT PULLS IN
STORYTELLING.
THAT'S WHAT I HAVE MADE MY
LIVING DOING, IS TELLING PEOPLE
STORIES.
AND SO IT'S VERY NATURAL THAT
THEY HAVE ME GO OUT AND
INTERVIEW PEOPLE FIGHTING CANCER
AND SURVIVING CANCER FROM ALL
OVER THE UNITED STATES.
SO WE KIND OF REPRESENT
EVERYBODY.
>> ALL RIGHT.
LISTEN, JOAN LUNDEN, ON BEHALF
OF WOMEN AND EVEN MEN, I SAY
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING THAT
PERSON TO COME FORWARD AND MAKE
SURE THAT OTHERS KNOW WHAT TO
ASK, HOW TO ASK, AND WHERE YOU
CAN GO FOR THE INFORMATION.
>> WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH.
AND I HOPE EVERYBODY GIANTS ME
WITH "AT HOME WITH JOAN" DOT-COM
AND BECOMES A PART OF OUR
COMMUNITY.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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