Zoraida Sambolin, the co-anchor of CNN's "Early Start" morning show, revealed Wednesday that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer
and will be undergoing a double mastectomy.
The revelation comes the same week actress Angelina Jolie announced she had a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer
. Jolie, whose mother died at 56 from ovarian cancer, recently learned that she possesses a genetic variant that puts her at high risk for ovarian and breast cancer gene.
"I struggled for weeks trying to figure out how tell you that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was leaving to have surgery," Sambolin said in a posting to her Facebook page
Tuesday. "Then, Angelina Jolie shares her story of a double mastectomy and gives me strength and an opening."
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Sambolin said Jolie's New York Times op-ed piece gave her the "strength" she needed to publicly discuss her decision.
"She said I feel empowered, that I'm in a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity," Sambolin said on CNN Tuesday. "You know, it's nice to hear somebody else talk about it and have that support of a lot of women around you."
Having a history of fibrocystic breast tissue, which made making a diagnosis difficult, Sambolin said early detection through regular mammograms was key for her.
Sambolin's surgery is scheduled for May 28, she told viewers.
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"I didn't mess around. I went when I was supposed to go, and I followed it diligently," she said. "At the end of the day, I need to have peace of mind."
"I need to sleep at night. I have two kids that are my world, like any woman, and it's what you think about," she added. "So I thought for me, this would be the best decision moving forward so I could feel confident that it's not something that I'm going to have to deal with that much more in the future."
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