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Journalist Joan Lunden battling breast cancer

Former GMA co-host diagnosed with breast cancer
Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Former “Good Morning America” (GMA) revealed on the show’s June 24, 2014 morning segment that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The award-winning television journalist and author got her start with “GMA” back in 1980 and continued to work with morning news program until exiting in 1997.

The 63-year-old Lunden who is already undergoing chemotherapy told Robin Roberts that she plans to undergo surgery as well as radiation treatments. Lunden stated that after having her recent annual mammogram and because she has dense fibrous tissue, she did what her doctor recommended which was to have an ultrasound. The results from a biopsy revealed a tumor in Lunden’s right breast.

“I heard those words that every woman fears and never wants to hear, ‘You have breast cancer,’” the mother of seven told Roberts. “In the beginning, it’s such a shock. It’s a stunner. For me, I’m a health advocate. I’m all over America talking to women saying, ‘Make sure that you get all your checkups all the time.’ You almost feel like, ‘What did I do wrong?’”

Lunden was a young girl when her father, a cancer surgeon, died on a flight home after a speaking engagement during a cancer conference. She said she admired her father’s passion for his life’s work and felt he would want her to use this experience as an opportunity to express the importance of getting screened for all types of cancers and to encourage women to perform self-breast exams. Although she has a progressive form of cancer, Lunden is optimistic and mentioned her early detection as being the reason for a promising prognosis.

Born Joan Elise Blunden, the Fair Oaks, Calif native began her career in broadcasting at KCRA TV and radio in Sacramento, Calif. In 1975, she changed her name to Lunden to avoid being called Blunder. The popular TV personality covered four U.S. Presidents, five Olympic Games, two royal weddings and countless historic events.

After her “Good Morning America” appearance, Lunden tweeted, “Thank you to @robinroberts and my @gma family for all your support this morning.”

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