(NEW YORK) — Actress Joanna Kerns recently revealed in an interview that she underwent a double mastectomy last December to reduce the recurrence of cancer.
The “Growing Pains” star told People magazine she was recently “given an all clear — the best of the results I could have had.”
ABC News reached out to a rep for Kerns, but didn’t immediately hear back.
Kerns, 64, was diagnosed last November with ductal carcinoma in situ, a non-invasive cancer where abnormal cells are found in the lining of breast milk ducts. The actress underwent a double mastectomy a month later, following two lumpectomies, “instead of risking radiation and the chance of it coming back,” she said.
“Had I not caught my cancer this early on,” Kern added, “I would have had to have a year of chemotherapy, and because of the recurrence and aggressiveness of this particular type of cancer, which was non-invasive HER2, I chose to do the mastectomy.”
Kerns said the diagnosis was “quite shocking” because “breast cancer does not run in my family.”
“I had been vigilant about screenings and exams, except this time I had missed a couple of years in there due to work and family issues, and suddenly I turn around, and it’s two years later, and I hadn’t done it and I have cancer,” she told the magazine.
It was even more challenging because Kerns, who played the late Alan Thicke’s onscreen wife in “Growing Pains,” discovered her diagnosis just one week before he passed away. The two worked together on the hit ABC series from 1985 to 1992.
“It was so devastating,” she recalled. “It was just a very, very hard time. I did go to the memorial four weeks out, and I was very happy to see my whole cast and my producers and dear friends.”
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