HEALTHY LIVING

Sandra Lee Reveals She Has Breast Cancer, Andrew Cuomo To Take 'Personal Time'

05/12/2015 11:45 am ET | Updated May 12, 2015

Celebrity chef Sandra Lee revealed Tuesday she'll undergo a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Lee, 48, was diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), according to People magazine.

DCIS is considered the earliest form of breast cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic, and is defined as the "presence of abnormal cells inside a milk duct in the breast." While DCIS is a noninvasive form of breast cancer, meaning it hasn't yet left the milk duct, it does require treatment to keep it from becoming invasive.

Lee's partner of 10 years, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, released a statement Tuesday saying he would take "some personal time" to be with Lee through her mastectomy and recovery.

"A situation like this quickly puts life in the proper perspective and reminds one of what’s truly important," Cuomo said. "To that end, I expect to take some personal time because I want to be with Sandy to support her in any way I can as she handles the trauma of her operation and the pain of the recovery."

Lee originally revealed the news on "Good Morning America," noting that she got the news shortly after a shoot for People's Most Beautiful issue.

"It was March 27th," she said in an emotional interview with host Robin Roberts. "I walked off the set and 20 minutes later my doctor called me and told me I had breast cancer."

Lee's doctor told her she had the option to undergo 6-8 weeks of radiation every day, or a double mastectomy. Lee chose the second option.

"I never want to go through this again," she explained, noting that her doctor told her she was a "ticking time bomb."

Over the past two decades, an increasing number of women have opted for a double mastectomy, or the removal of both breasts, after the diagnosis of early stage breast cancer even if it's only in one breast. In 1998, 2 percent of women who were diagnosed with early stage breast cancer decided to have a double mastectomy, according to breastcancer.org, and by 2011 that number had increased to 12.3 percent.

According to People, Lee's surgery will take place later this week. Lee, who decided to start getting regular mammograms before the recommended age of 50, said she plans to be open about her situation.

"I plan to spread the word about early detection,” she explained, adding, “My doctor called me a poster girl for mammography.”

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