In 2007, at age 43, the beloved Today Show personality was diagnosed with breast cancer during a routine breast exam. She had not yet in her life had a mammogram. “I ask people all the time why they haven’t gotten checked for various things,” she told the Today Show website, “and here I was not getting screened.” Eschewing chemotherapy because the cancer had not spread to her lymph nodes, she had a mastectomy and then TRAM-flap reconstruction, followed by five years of tamoxifen therapy. She decided to go public with her breast cancer story after tearing up one day as a breast cancer charity walked past her on the street.
During a recent episode of Today with Hoda & Jenna, Hoda reflected on her diagnosis and her feelings about Breast Cancer Awareness Month, saying, “Cancer shaped me, but it did not define me. It’s part of me, but not all of me.” Her new book I Actually Really Needed This Today includes inspirational quotes that may help a person living with cancer or a survivor.