E! Host Giuliana Rancic Says This Is How Her Cancer Was Found
She was just 36 years old when she was diagnosed.
Media maven Giuliana Rancic is a TV personality, journalist, best-selling author, and fashion designer with a massive fan following. Best known for her work as an E! News host, she's interviewed celebrities on just about every red carpet there is, from the Oscars to the Grammy Awards. But in 2011, the star was blindsided by a shocking diagnosis: At just 36 years old, her doctors broke the news that Rancic had breast cancer. Today, it's been over a decade since she first learned of her condition. Read on to learn the surprising way her cancer was discovered, and to find out what she's learned in the years since.
Rancic learned she had breast cancer during a screening for IVF treatment.
In September of 2011, the E! News star and her husband, Bill Rancic, decided to pursue in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment to grow their family. As part of the screening process before starting treatment, her doctor recommended she undergo a mammogram. Though she had no family history or symptoms, the scan revealed a mass in her breast that doctors determined was cancerous.
"I definitely feel like it was fate that I discovered my breast cancer the way I did," Rancic told E! News in 2020. "Trust me when I say I am very thankful to my doctor as well as my son, Duke, since I wouldn't have found it early if I wasn't trying to have a baby at that time," she said. "If I hadn't been proactive about my health, I may not have found my breast cancer until my first mammogram at 40, which would have been a few years later," she added.
Reflecting on her diagnosis in 2012, Rancic described it as "definitely the worst feeling in the world. It's the moment no woman wants to live through," she told Coping with Cancer Magazine.
She underwent a double mastectomy.
Initially, Rancic opted for a lumpectomy to remove the mass. However, soon after the procedure her doctors learned there were still cancer cells present. At that point, the TV host decided to undergo a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, rather than attempting another localized operation. "I just didn't want to look over my shoulder for the rest of my life," she told Coping. "We spoke to our doctors, and they felt that was the best course of action for me. We're very glad we did it," said Rancic.
The star says she returned to work just two weeks after her surgery. "The truth is, work was a fabulous distraction for me," she shared. "Instead of sitting in bed and thinking about it all day, it was nice to go to work and focus on other things, which I think helped me heal faster." For the five years that followed, she was put on a medication regimen, which she says was also challenging.
She says her husband was a huge source of support.
Rancic says her husband was her "rock" during her diagnosis and recovery. "My husband played an incredible role for me during that time and really helped keep me from catastrophizing every single thing," the star told E! News. "Instead, he kept me focused on the facts and professional opinions instead of getting caught up in everything I was reading online."
While her husband admitted to Coping that the diagnosis was "gut wrenching," he says the pair came through the experience stronger than ever. "We've had some hurdles along the way, but we've never given up. We've always been there for each other. That's the most important thing. In this marriage, if one person's down, the other is there to pick them up."
The TV host agreed that their relationship rose to the challenges they faced. "Something like this can either tear couples apart or bring them closer together, and with us, it certainly strengthened our bond. We don't take life, or any moment we have together, for granted," she told Coping.
For more health news sent directly to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Rancic has now been cancer-free for 10 years.
The multi-talented star has now been cancer-free for roughly a decade, and her life has resumed a certain amount of normalcy in the years since her diagnosis. In 2019 she reflected on the experience while speaking with People. "I am seven years cancer-free, which is wonderful, but I have to say that it's interesting being seven years out—it's a very different feeling than those first five years," she said at the time. "Those first five years, I was just thinking about breast cancer—I was consumed by it. I was probably thinking about it… it felt like every minute of the day," she said. "Now, I am able to look back, and obviously I am so thankful and grateful to be here and healthy today."
Today, Rancic puts her health first. "I don't worry about a recurrence like I used to, but I definitely stay on top of my health and yearly appointments and am also doing what I can to be proactive," she told E! News. "If we don't put ourselves and our own health on our to-do lists, who will?"