Tags: samantha harris | double | mastectomy | breast cancer

Samantha Harris Mastectomy To Follow Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Image: Samantha Harris Mastectomy To Follow Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Friday, 11 Apr 2014 09:30 AM

By Michael Mullins

Former "Dancing with the Stars" co-host and "Entertainment Tonight" correspondent  Samantha Harris is getting a double mastectomy to treat breast cancer.

Harris discussed her decision to undergo the surgery in a recent interview with People magazine.

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"It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest," Harris said after a needle biopsy and subsequent lumpectomy confirmed the breast cancer diagnosis. Harris visited the doctor after a routine self-examination last fall revealed a lump in her right breast.

The entertainment reporter told People that a short time before she felt the lump, she had had a clean mammogram. However, she remembers feeling something wasn't right. After receiving the breast cancer diagnosis from a breast cancer specialist, she said she sought out two other specialists before deciding on getting a double mastectomy.

All three specialists reportedly told the 40-year-old mother of two that she had only two options to treat the cancer: a double mastectomy or a less-radical second lumpectomy with radiation, People reported.

Harris decided to go forward with the double mastectomy after researching both procedures.

"I was sick of feeling the way that I did in the days after the diagnosis," Harris said. "I knew I needed to take control."

Immediately following her decision to get a double mastectomy, Harris said she remembers feeling "so much calmer."

Harris' decision to publicly discuss her double mastectomy follows a string of other Hollywood personalities, including Angelina Jolie, who made news for discussing what is usually a private medical matter.

Last May, the 38-year-old Oscar-winning actress announced that she underwent a preventive double mastectomy after she learned that she possesses a genetic variant that puts her at high risk for ovarian and breast cancer.

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In the same week Jolie announced her double mastectomy, Zoraida Sambolin, the co-anchor of CNN's "Early Start" morning show, revealed that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and would be undergoing a double mastectomy as well.

As a result of Jolie's announcement, there was a spike in women getting genetic tests to determine whether they are predisposed to getting cancer, despite that many doctors warned such testing could harm them, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

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