During a rare serious interview on to air on Monday's episode of Ellen, comedian Wanda Sykes reveals her breast cancer scare that lead to a bilateral mastectomy.
Initially, doctors discovered signs of cancer in her left breast while she was preparing to have cosmetic surgery to reduce their size, as she started off:
"This was in February. I went for the reduction. I had real big boobs and I just got tired of knocking over stuff. Every time I eat … Oh lord. I’d carry a Tide stick everywhere I go," she quips. "My back was sore so it was time to have a reduction. It wasn't until after the reduction that in the lab work, the pathology, that they found that I had DCIS [ductal carcinoma in situ] in my left breast. I was very, very lucky because DCIS is basically stage-zero cancer. So I was very lucky."
Even though doctors caught the cancer early, Wanda was still preparing for the worst, continuing to say:
"But cancer is cancer. I had the choice of, you can go back every three months and get it checked. Have a mammogram, MRI every three months just to see what it's doing. But, I'm not good at keeping on top of stuff. I'm sure I’m overdue for an oil change and a teeth cleaning already."
Fearing her inability to maintain regular check ups and "a lot of breast cancer history" in her family, she came to the decision to remove both breasts. "Now I have zero chance of having breast cancer," she told Ellen DeGeneres.
She explained her reasoning, saying:
"It sounds scary up front, but what do you want? Do you want to wait and not be as fortunate when it comes back and it’s too late?"
Even though the procedure was performed several months ago, Wanda admits she wasn't sure if she should even be talking about it and comically explains:
"I was like, I don't know, should I talk about it or what? How many things could I have? I'm Black, then Lesbian. I can't be the poster child for everything. At least with the LGBT issues we get a parade, we get a float, it's a party. [But] I was real hesitant about doing this, because I hate walking. I got a lot of [cancer] walks coming up."
"I just admire the hell out of you," Ellen said to her guest and we can't help but agree!
So glad you're safe and sound, Wanda! We're looking forward to you making us laugh for years and years to come!
[Image via WENN.]