Wanda Sykes, popular comedian and star of the HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm” recently revealed that she was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.
According to The Huffington Post, the Emmy Award-winner appeared on the “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in late September and explained that she discovered the illness after receiving a breast reduction surgery earlier this year.
“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,” Sykes said. “I was very, very lucky because DCIS is basically stage-zero cancer.”
According to the National Cancer Institute, though DCIS is a noninvasive condition, it can progress to become invasive cancer. But the likelihood of that occurrence varies widely.
Sykes didn't want to take a chance, so she decided to get a bilateral mastectomy.
“I had both breasts removed…because now I have zero chance of having breast cancer,” she said. “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?”
The actress also explained on the show that she was initially hesitant to openly discuss her condition.
“I'm Black, then lesbian,” she said. “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.”
Sykes, a mother of two, made national headlines in 2008 after she announced that she was gay at a same-sex marriage rally in San Francisco, according to The New York Times. She and her partner had wed a month earlier.