A gorgeous and bald Joan Lunden graces this month's People magazine cover, sharing in an exclusive interview her battle against breast cancer and her decision to leave off her wig.
"I had to make this big decision about whether or not to do the cover with no hair. It certainly isn't the comfortable way to go, but I decided I was going to try and help others and show women that this isn't the end of the world," she told People. "You can go on — and that was hugely empowering."
Back in June, Lunden revealed that she had been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer. The former "Good Morning America" co-host was naturally shocked by the news, writing on her personal site that she had no family history of the disease.
"I considered myself fit and healthy, I get checked faithfully every year and I didn’t have a history of breast cancer in my family," she wrote. "But of course after covering many stories about breast cancer over the years, I knew that none of us are exempt. I also knew that I had to jump into action quickly, put together a team, and find the best course of treatment for the kind of cancer that I have."
Since June, Lunden has completed seven rounds of chemotherapy. On Tuesday, she underwent a lumpectomy to remove a tumor.
"The doctor said everything seemed to go according to plan, however with the location of my cancer being so far back, almost at the chest wall, it was technically difficult for her," she writes in an update on her site. "The next step is waiting on pathology reports to see if the tissue was clean and disease free. Just in case, they left my "port" in my chest but they do not predict that I'll need further chemo therapy. My spirits are high and I am home recovering with my family."
As for the cover photo, Lunden says the outpouring of support following its release reconfirmed her earlier thoughts that it was a good decision .
"It was a tough decision to make but after reading all of your messages, I knew it was the right thing to do," she writes. "Sharing my cancer journey is about empowering other women, and men, to be strong and brave with me. Our health is more important than our hair."