Sandra Lee, Food Network star, magazine editor, and cookbook author, has breast cancer. ABC News aired Lee's personal announcement this morning on "Good Morning America." The New York Times also reported Lee's illness earlier today, and noted that Lee will undergo surgery for a "double mastectomy this week."
Lee, 48, says she was stunned to hear the news from her doctor six weeks ago. On "Good Morning America" she appealed to other cancer survivors: "There's two different ways cancer beats you up. It beats up your body. And it beats you up emotionally... girls have to know. Girls in their 20s and their 30s have to know... I don't want women to wait, and that's why I'm talking."
Lee is the most recent in a line of celebrities to speak up in order to raise awareness of the often unexpected and sudden onset of breast cancer. Over the past two years, Angelina Jolie has documented her breast cancer diagnosis, DNA screening, mastectomies, and post-surgery recovery.
Lee, who is also New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's girlfriend, is similarly using her position in the media, and could appeal to a slightly different subset of women who may be at risk.
In light of the news, Lee and Governor Cuomo will take "some personal time," to be with their family. Still, Lee's career is moving full steam ahead: late last week she landed a new lifestyle show on ABC.
Video: Sandra Lee on "Good Morning America"