Giuliana Rancic, host of “E! News” and “Fashion Police,” announced on the “Today Show” Monday that she has early-stage breast cancer.
The cancer was discovered on a mammogram she had at the insistence of her infertility specialist, according to a report in Boston Globe.
Mammography is the process of using low-energy X-rays to examine the human breast and is used as a diagnostic and screening tool. The goal of mammography is the early detection of breast cancer, typically through detection of characteristic masses and microcalcifications.
In many countries, routine mammography of older women is encouraged to catch breast cancer early. In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that women with no risk factors have screening mammographies every two years between age 50 and 74. They found insufficient evidence to recommend for or against screening between age 40 and 49 or above age 74.
Mammograms are generally not recommended for women under the age of 40 unless they have a particularly high risk of breast cancer. The case of Rancic, who is 36, could encourage other young women to insist on mammograms. Breast cancer is unusual in women under 40, with only 5 percent of all cases, although the tumors can be faster-growing and harder to treat.
Studies have shown that breast cancer is rising at an alarming rate. According to the new global statistics, officially 343,000 women die during childbirth every year while breast and cervical cancers kill 625,000 women worldwide.
Breast cancer spreading to other parts of the body is the biggest cause of death from the disease. It is thought that about 30 percent of breast cancers spread, yet these account for up to 90 percent of deaths from the disease.