Wanda Sykes will appear on The Ellen DeGeneres show this Monday and shared a very serious bit of personal info with the talk show hostess: she underwent a double mastectomy after discovering that she had breast cancer during cosmetic surgery.
The 47-year-old comedian was having a breast reduction after years of annoyance over her large chest. “This was in February. I went for the reduction. I had real big boobs and I just got tired of knocking over stuff. Every time I eat … Oh lord. I’d carry a Tide stick everywhere I go…It wasn’t until after the reduction that in the lab work, the pathology, that they found that I had DCIS [ductal carcinoma in situ] in my left breast. I was very, very lucky because DCIS is basically stage-zero cancer. So I was very lucky.
According to People, Sykes has a family history of breast cancer and decided that having both breasts removed was her best option. She told DeGeneres “It sounds scary up front, but what do you want? Do you want to wait and not be as fortunate when it comes back and it’s too late?”
The Emmy Award-winner was initially hesitant about coming forward with her ordeal: “I was like, I don’t know, should I talk about it or what? How many things could I have? I’m Black, then Lesbian. I can’t be the poster child for everything…At least with the LGBT issues we get a parade, we get a float, it’s a party. [But] I was real hesitant about doing this, because I hate walking. I got a lot of [cancer] walks coming up.”
Wow, it’s great that they caught it so early! And also good that she decided to share her story because I’m sure it’ll make it easier for other women to “accept the things they cannot change” when they have to choose between getting the mastectomy or risking a more detrimental prognosis in the future.