GMA's Joan Lunden goes wigless for cover photo

Sep 24, 2014 at 10:10 p.m. ET
Image: Patricia Schlein/

Former Good Morning America host, Joan Lunden, isn't letting cancer bring her down.

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After announcing her diagnosis on air and leaving the show, Lunden is back in the spotlight, bald and so beautiful on the cover of People's October issue, due out Friday.

Lunden tells People that when she received her devastating diagnosis, she knew she had two choices.

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

Taking her hair into her own hands was a major step in that process, Lunden reveals. Just one week after finishing chemo, Lunden decided it was time to say goodbye to her blond locks.

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"You know it's going to happen one of these days and you are wondering how and when, so I just owned it," she says.

Despite her powerfully positive attitude about her hair loss, though, Lunden says deciding to pose without a wig was tough.

"I'm almost reluctant to say it because it sounds superficial," she explains. "But when you lose your hair, it just affects the way that you look at yourself in the mirror. You feel less feminine, pretty or desirable, and it's not an easy thing to go through."

Ultimately, though, Lunden, who has been chronicling her battle with breast cancer on her blog, says she knew what was the right choice.

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"I had to make this big decision about whether or not to do the cover with no hair," she says. "It certainly isn't the comfortable way to go, but I decided I was going to try and help others and show women that this isn't the end of the world. You can go on — and that was hugely empowering."