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January 26, 2021

Joan Lunden Felt Complete Again after Surviving Cancer — a Look Back at Her Battle

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Former longtime "Good Morning America" co-host Joan Lunden became cancer-free a year after her diagnosis. Take a look back at her cancer battle and how she was able to overcome it. 

On June 24, 2014, Joan Lunden returned to "Good Morning America" to reveal she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She revealed the breast cancer was not found in her annual mammogram.

It was found in a follow-up ultrasound done routinely in addition to the mammogram due to her dense fibrous tissue. After undergoing a core biopsy, it was discovered that she had an aggressive kind of cancer that would require chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. 


Joan Lunden at the screening of "RX: Early Detection A Cancer Journey With Sandra Lee" during The Tribeca Film Festival on April 26, 2018. | Photo: Getty Images

Lunden did not capitulate on hearing about her diagnosis but faced the battle head-on, hoping that she would beat it. In an interview with PEOPLE in September 2014, after she took off her wig to reveal her shaved head, she spoke about her resolve, saying: 


"I could decide to do nothing, but that's certainly not my personality. I was handed an opportunity to learn everything that I can about this and try to help others."


Her first move was to share the news of her diagnosis with the public, after which she shaved her hair off and then revealed it to the world in the PEOPLE issue. The journalist noted afterward that it wasn't an easy thing to do. 

However, Lunden was determined to help others and show women that a cancer diagnosis was not the end of the world. In March 2015, after the completion of her treatment, Lunden shared her journey with the public. 

Lunden said cancer patients had to be their own advocates and not worry about losing their hair.


Her treatment required sixteen rounds of chemotherapy, a lumpectomy, and six weeks of radiation. In a chat with PEOPLE, she spoke about her battle with cancer and treatment, saying one goes into it and comes out as a different person. 

After beating the disease and becoming cancer-free, Lunden got back to feeling like herself again and told PEOPLE in another interview that she had shaved her legs for the first time in a year, adding: 

"I'm starting to get a little tiny bit of hair on my arms. When you've gone through this, you look at those things like, 'Am I normal again?'"


Lunden also revealed that she knew early on after her cancer diagnosis that it was way more than her own breast cancer journey and that she had been given a chance to make a difference in the world, which she was excited about. 

She continued to share details of her cancer battle with the public afterward. Lunden revealed that her life after treatment had been surprisingly bitter-sweet, as the time after treatment can sometimes be more emotionally difficult than during treatment. 


In 2017, Lunden wrote an article for Today, where she stated the things learned after her diagnosis and discussed ten things she wished she knew before getting diagnosed with cancer. 

In the article, Lunden said cancer patients had to be their own advocates and not worry about losing their hair. She also said going into warrior mode helps one cope better with the disease and that healthy diets were important in preventing and fighting cancer. 


She advised patients to stay active during treatment, give themselves tender loving care, have a support system, and become a voracious label reader. 

Lunden was born on September 19, 1950. She is a journalist, television personality, and author. She was previously married to Michael Krauss from 1978 to 1992 and shares three daughters, Jamie, Lindsay, and Sarah, with him.

She has been married to Jeff Konigsberg since 2000 and shares two sets of twins, Jack, Kim, Kate, and Max, born via a surrogate, with him. 


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