Today’s Jill Martin Announces Breast Cancer Diagnosis

“Today” contributor Jill Martin sat down with Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie on July 17 to reveal that she has breast cancer. “It feels like someone else telling this story,” an emotional Martin said.

She explained that she had kept up with her routine mammograms and had just gotten the all-clear following an appointment in January. In an interview with People, Martin said that she took a test to see if she was positive for the BRCA gene due to family history — and she was.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a person with the mutation for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene has a “much higher risk of developing breast cancer or ovarian cancer.”

This finding led Martin to talk to her doctors about having surgery as a way to keep her health in check — and prevent a breast cancer diagnosis in the future. “That was my choice,” she revealed on “Today.” When she went in to get all of her pre-surgery scans done, however, Martin says her doctors found cancer.

“Of course, I’m devastated. You hear the C-word, and you think the worst,” she told People magazine. “And also having the platform to share my story has given me strength because I feel like while I’m healing, I will be able to help literally save lives. And if I save one life from this, then this process will have been worth it for me,” she added. Now, Martin is preparing for what’s next.

Jill Martin’s breast cancer was found during an MRI. Upon hearing the news, she asked if the cancer was treatable — and she was told that it was and that she would be okay.

As Martin prepares for surgery — which will happen in two parts — she says she’s scared of what lies beyond. “I really would rather not have to have chemotherapy, but if that’s something I have to deal with, I’ll deal with it,” she told People.

“The scary part of this is the unknown. It’s going into a surgery and not knowing if you’re going to come out needing chemotherapy or radiation treatment — that is probably the scariest part to me. I work better when I know there’s a project, when I know there’s a task to be completed,” she added. In mid-July, Martin will undergo a mastectomy.

She is then having a preventative hysterectomy in October before going back into surgery for the “second half of the reconstruction,” she told the outlet.

Martin has the full support of her family, including her husband, Erik Brooks, whom she married in September, her friends, and her colleagues. On “Today,” Hoda Kotb hugged Martin and told her that she couldn’t wait to see her “on the other side of this.” Martin wanted to take the opportunity to encourage women to stay on top of their routine doctor’s visits — especially their mammograms — and to get tested for the BRCA gene.”