Giuliana Rancic Wants You to Know That Breast Cancer Isn't a One-Size-Fits-All Disease
The E! host shares how women can take control of their health after being diagnosed with the illness.
Last year, Giuliana Rancic celebrated five years of being cancer-free from breast cancer after previously undergoing a double mastectomy. The milestone signified that her chances of developing the disease again were quite low. While that's a huge relief, the E! host couldn't help but have mixed emotions.
"To be quite honest, I felt sadness that day," Rancic recently told Shape. "I found myself thinking of all the amazing women I'd met along the way who won't get to reach that milestone-and that was heartbreaking."
Over the past few years, Rancic has spent a lot of time advocating for breast cancer awareness to help more and more women reach that milestone. That's why it comes as no surprise that she recently became a spokesperson for Not One Type, a campaign dedicated to changing the perception of breast cancer.
"It's important for people to know that breast cancer is not one-size-fits-all," she says. "There are a lot of different types of breast cancer and when you realize that, you have the knowledge needed to go to your doctor and come up with treatments that are right for you." (Related: This Viral Photo of Lemons Is Helping Women Detect Breast Cancer)
Rancic notes that while so many of us know how common breast cancer is (one in eight women will be diagnosed in their lifetime), only one in three people know that there are several types of breast cancer, each of which can require drastically different treatments.
"Before I was diagnosed, I thought I knew quite a bit about breast cancer, but in reality, I had no idea that understanding your unique diagnosis is critical to receiving the right treatment," she says. "I was 36 years old when I was first diagnosed and had no family history, so it was quite an emotional whirlwind for me-I know so many women who feel the same way. But it's in those moments that you have to put your health in your own hands."
"As traumatized as you may feel, it's up to you to go to your medical professional prepared with questions-the right questions regarding the exact type of breast cancer you have," she continues. "The more informed you are, the more likely you'll be able to work with your doctors to find proper, tailored treatment." (Related: 5 Ways to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk)
Breast cancer is an extremely complex disease. It's classified into different types based on the unique characteristics of each tumor, including the subtype, size, lymph node status, and stage, among other things, notes the Not One Type website. So the more proactive and informed you are after your initial diagnosis, the better chances you have of getting ahead of the disease.
"As tough as breast cancer has been, it has blessed me with the opportunity to change my priorities, become an even stronger person, and help others," Rancic says. "My goal is to get more and more people-not just breast cancer patients, but their loved ones and caregivers as well-to talk about how breast cancer is not one type. Who knows? Together, we might be able to save a life along the way."