Barbara Walters revealed her own experience with breast cancer while speaking at the Breast Cancer Research Symposium and Awards luncheon held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, New York, on Thursday.
The ABC News legend had never before spoken about her experience with the disease, but she chose the event as the opportune moment to calmly explain how she had previously undergone a lumpectomy.
“Some years back, I discovered a small lump in my breast,” Walters told the audience, according to The New York Post‘s Page Six. “I had a lumpectomy. I hadn’t talked about it. There was no reason to. There were other choices that were possible, this was mine. I told few people, and I am fine, I’ve had no recurrence.”
“I knew the advances that had been made in treating breast cancer, including lumpectomies when possible. I can remember when such treatments were not available,” she said. “Research made my treatment possible.”
Walters later added to People magazine, “I can remember when it was a death sentence, and it terrified me. It still frightens me. But now we know there is treatment.”
The former The View host was honored at the event, and she shared her award with the event’s host, Amy Robach.
“There’s a lot of talk about me, but I want to share this honor with Amy,” she told the audience. “When she discovered she had breast cancer, she handled it in the most magnificent, wise and sensitive way.”
Walters has openly spoken about cancer before as she has lost her sister to ovarian cancer. She chose to remove her own ovaries as a preventative measure.