“I have found many survivors to be very strong women who seem like they have things under control but it’s always important for family and friends to check in,” television personality, author and breast cancer survivor Giuliana Rancic told CURE.
During more than a decade of breast cancer survivorship, Giuliana Rancic has worked to advocate for her fellow patients and survivors, as she told CURE®.
“I’m part of an incredible community of survivors and thrivers and it’s such a wonderful community of people,” Rancid said during an email interview. “There is always someone who will be there for you in this community and I’m very grateful for that.”
Rancic — a television personality, author and entrepreneur who was the keynote speaker for CURE’s Extraordinary Healer® Awards in 2019 — is scheduled to be in attendance for the Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl. The college football game, happening Saturday, Dec. 16 in Orlando is operated by the Orlando Sports Foundation in collaboration with ESPN Events and has raised $4.1 million for cancer research, according to a news release.
CURE spoke with Rancic about breast cancer survivorship, her advocacy work and the importance of family and friends checking in on loved ones with cancer.
Q: You have made advocacy a key part of your survivorship experience, working with organizations and groups such as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Pink Agenda, as well as your own Fab-U-Wish initiative. Why has advocating for patients and survivors been important to you?
A: A lot of people don’t realize that, if caught early, breast cancer has one of the highest survival rates of any cancer, but the key is to catch it early. That’s why my mission is to get the word out about early detection. I am celebrating my 12th cancer-free anniversary this week because I found my breast cancer early so I can’t stress the importance of early detection enough and that includes not just mammograms and annual visits to the doctor but also monthly self-exams for younger women.
Q: What has been the most surprising aspect of breast cancer survivorship for you?
A: I’m part of an incredible community of survivors and thrivers and it’s such a wonderful community of people. There is always someone who will be there for you in this community and I’m very grateful for that.
Q: This week marks 12 years since you underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. What advice do you have for any patients who are set to undergo that experience, for ways to mentally and emotionally prepare and recover before and after surgery?
A: I remember being so scared and nervous going into surgery but I just kept saying four words in my head: this too shall pass. That helped me focus on the future and realize that even if the recovery was going to be tough, I would get through it and emerge healthier and stronger because of it.
Q: What do you believe are some of the biggest misconceptions that still persist about breast cancer survivorship, and would you like the public to know about this topic?
A: I have found many survivors to be very strong women who seem like they have things under control but it’s always important for family and friends to check in. Oftentimes, we keep things to ourselves because we don’t want to ask for help, so it’s extra important for people to offer help in a sincere way as much as possible.
I always say, “Don’t ask, just do.” For example, instead of asking someone, “Can I pick up some of your favorite ice cream?” just do it and drop it off on their doorstep and text them that you dropped it off. Little things like that go a long way.
Q: What was it about the Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl, and the work of the Orlando Sports Foundation, that inspired you to partner with them for this year’s game?
A: I love supporting companies that also support their communities and the people who love their products, so I love that Avocados From Mexico felt so strongly about sponsoring the Cure Bowl to raise money for cancer research. I also love that they created the Super Good Rally before the game where I, along with other survivors and thrivers, will be creating signs for others going through breast cancer to let them know we are supporting them and rallying with them. People can also do the same on social media by using the hashtag #supergoodrally. Obviously, breast cancer is a cause near and dear to my heart, so I am very happy to be partners with Avocados From Mexico for this special event.
Q: How do you believe going through a cancer journey can impact the way someone experiences gatherings of family and friends this time of year, such as holiday get-togethers or watching sports games together?
A: For a lot of people, myself included, watching sports and being with family helps take your mind off of more serious things and allows you to enjoy the moment you’re in, especially when you’re surrounded by people who love and care about you. It still continues to be my favorite time of the year and I don’t take the love of my family and friends for granted.
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