ESPN anchor Hannah Storm reveals breast cancer diagnosis

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ESPN’s Hannah Storm is opening up for the first time about her battle with breast cancer.

The “SportsCenter” co-anchor said Tuesday on “Good Morning America” that she was diagnosed in January with ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, a type of breast cancer in which the cancer cells have not spread beyond the breasts’ milk ducts.

Storm said she was “shocked” and “scared” by the diagnosis.

DCIS, also known as stage 0 breast cancer, is noninvasive, meaning the cancer has not spread to other tissues in the breast, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Storm said that shortly after learning she had DCIS, she underwent a successful lumpectomy and is now considered by her doctors to be cancer-free. She said she will be taking a medication, tamoxifen, for three years.

Tamoxifen is a hormone therapy drug used in women who have had DCIS to “reduce the risk of developing a more serious type of breast cancer,” according to the National Library of Medicine.

Sports Journalist Hannah Storm attends the 2023 Greenwich International Film Festival’s Inspiration Talk & Award Ceremony at The Village, May 3, 2023, in Stamford, Conn.

Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images, FILE

Storm, who survived serious burn injuries in a grill accident in 2012, said she was diagnosed with DCIS after she got a routine mammogram during the NFL season last November.

Storm, a mom of three daughters, said she realized she had not undergone a mammogram in more than one year. After the routine mammogram, Storm said she also underwent an ultrasound and a biopsy before doctors reached the diagnosis of DCIS.

“I was shocked because, again, I had had mammograms every year. I have no risk factors. I have no breast cancer in my family. I did not have a lump. I did not have pain. I don’t have any genetic predisposition to breast cancer,” Storm said on “GMA.” “And what I came to learn is the vast majority of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer don’t have risk factors, and so I’ve got to say I was shocked. I was scared.”

She continued, “I was very, very lucky because they found it so early.”

Most women with average risk should start screening for breast cancer at age 40, and get screened every other year through age 74, according to draft guidance updated in 2023 from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a federally appointed group of experts whose conclusions guide medical decision making and determine some insurance policies.

The updated draft guidance dropped the age of screening from 50 to 40 last year, as mounting evidence showed higher rates of breast cancer among women in their 40s, including a 2% increase from 2015 to 2019.

Breast cancer screening tools include a mammogram, which is an X-ray of the breast. Dense breast tissue may make a mammogram more difficult to interpret, and may make detecting cancer more difficult, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Women with dense breasts may be called back for follow-up testing, including ultrasound and/or magnetic resonance imaging.

Women at higher risk of getting breast cancer may also receive an MRI scan.

Storm said she hopes that by sharing her own diagnosis, other women are encouraged to get their annual screenings for breast cancer.

“I know so many people who don’t have mammograms, who are scared to have them. I don’t want them to be scared,” she said. “I want them to be scared not to have this information.”

The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of ABC News and ESPN.

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