Kym Douglas is candid about her journey to breast cancer, saying her diagnosis of… ‘stage 0 to stage 3 in one second’ after doctors discovered hidden tumors during her double mastectomy.
The 61-year-old television host shared her story with Today host Sheinelle Jones during a clip that aired on Thursday’s morning show episode. Like many women, Douglas put off getting her mammogram because she was busy.
‘I am fine. I don’t have to go,” she recalls. “Six months turns into three years and I wouldn’t have gone for my mammogram.”
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Opening: Kym Douglas, 61, shared her breast cancer story in a segment that aired on Thursday’s episode of the Today show
Candid: Douglas told Today host Sheinelle Jones she postponed getting her mammogram because she was busy and went three years before getting screened in 2018
Shock: Douglas was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), also known as stage 0 breast cancer
When she was finally screened in 2018, she was asked to come back for more tests and was later diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), also known as stage 0 breast cancer.
DCIS is characterized by the presence of abnormal cells in the lining of the breast milk that have become cancerous but have not spread further.
Many would assume stage 0 breast cancer would require minimal treatment, but Douglas said she still needed surgery.
“When you see a breast, it was like someone took glitter and poof. And there was a little bit of calcification everywhere,” she explained. “So I couldn’t have a lumpectomy and I couldn’t look at it — we had to remove the breast.”
scary: Douglas opted for a double mastectomy and was told she would not need further treatment, but then doctors discovered tumors behind her breast tissue during the procedure
Difficult to handle: Douglas’ diagnosis ‘went from stage 0 to stage 3’ in one second and she had to undergo more than 18 weeks of chemotherapy and more than seven weeks of radiation
Recovery: Douglas said it was ironic that she would talk about beauty during her television appearances if she didn’t have hair or eyebrows
Douglas chose to have a double mastectomy and planned to return to her life as if nothing had happened after the surgery.
She was initially told she would need six weeks to recover with no follow-up treatment, but during the procedure, doctors discovered three tumors behind her breast tissue.
“I went from stage 0 to stage 3 in one second and everything changed,” she said. “The room started spinning. Everything stopped and I knew right in that moment that my life would never be the same again. I never went back.’
Douglas continued to make television appearances while undergoing more than 18 weeks of chemotherapy and more than seven weeks of radiation.
‘Here’s the irony: I’m in front of the camera every day, talking about beauty, health and wellness. I have no hair, I’m green, I’ve lost 27 pounds, I have no eyebrows, I have no eyelashes,” she recalls.
Family: Douglas shares a son, Hunter, and two stepchildren with husband Jerry Douglas
Lifeline: The TV host credited the support of her family and friends to help her through the grueling treatments
Feeling good: Douglas has been cancer-free for three and a half years
“It really made me look at what I was doing, what I was projecting onto women, and how important… our inner beauty is, because I had no outer beauty.”
Douglas, who shares a son and two stepchildren with husband Jerry Douglas, praised the support of her family and friends for helping her through the grueling treatments.
She has been cancer-free for the past three and a half years, but she wants other women to know the importance of taking care of their health.
“You have to take care of yourself, because you can’t pour from an empty vessel,” she said. “It’s true that old cliché – it’s what’s inside that matters and the outside, it comes and goes. It really does.
“Because I was bald, had nothing on your face, I still found happiness and joy in life.”