We have some sad news to share with all of you in case you haven't already heard: Jill Martin, a contributor for The Today Show known for her lifestyle segments, has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Jill's family has a history of breast cancer, with her grandmother passing away from it. Jill's mom also had a double mastectomy when she was in her 40s. After the surgery, her mom tested negative for mutations in the BRCA gene, which is known to be cancerous making Jill feel ok about not testing for the same gene.
Still, with this history, Jill had been very diligent about her mammograms and screenings. Until they found out that the father can pass down the gene as well...
Jill posted a personal essay on her experience on Today.com updating us all on her healthy and journey! Read snippets below.
Jill Martin from 'The Today Show's' health update
As mentioned, Jill opened up about her health in a personal essay. Jill said at the behest of her doctor, she tested for the BRCA mutations and came back positive for BRCA2. Her father also tested positive for the gene, making it obvious that it was passed down through the paternal line.
If positive for the BRCA gene, then women have about a 45-85% chance of getting breast cancer, according to John Hopkins. Jill was already planning to take preventative measures when she found out from a sonogram and an MRI that she actually already had breast cancer, even though her mammogram from January was negative.
In her essay published on July 17, Jill writes that she will be having a double mastectomy this week and that her, "Treatment plan will be informed by the results from my surgery." She also says that she will get her ovaries and fallopian tubes out at some point for further preventative measures.
In her statement, Jill urges people to test for the BRCA gene saying that knowing her story is helping people is the "silver lining." The statement reads:
"I couldn’t go through months of operations, and start to recover both physically and mentally, without shouting from the rooftops telling everyone to check with their doctors to see if genetic testing is appropriate. By the time I recover from my first surgery, I hope that many of you will know your results and can make proactive decisions with your doctors, families, and loved ones. That is the silver lining to this mess for me. It is what is keeping me going and giving me strength."
As for how Jill is? She says she is "OK." Jill elaborates, "I have a loving husband, amazing family and friends, and an incredible support system. I have my head on straight and know exactly what needs to be done. Am I scared? Of course. Who wouldn’t be? But I know cancer has nothing on me."
Jill urges us all to be informed and talk to our doctors about genetic testing. You can find more information about that here.
Thank you, Jill, for being so brave and sharing your story! We are all rooting for you!