(CBS) Giuliana Rancic says she was a "nervous wreck" beforeon the "Today" show Monday morning, but that going public with her diagnosis was liberating.
"I feel like such a heavy weight has been lifted off my shoulders," she told co-anchor Ryan Seacrest on "E! News" later that day. "I've been keeping this secret from a lot of dear friends and it's nice to get it out there and not hide anymore."
She told Seacrest that the decision to go public was "a difficult one," but then realized that she wanted other women to hear her story.
"I started realizing I could be an example for women to not just be aware of breast cancer but to act on it," she said. "To make an appointment, to give themselves an exam. Because truly, Ryan, the bottom line is, the earlier you find it, the better chance you have of survival."
"So that's my situation," she added. "I'm going to survive, I'm going to be just fine, I'm not broken, but that's because I found it early."
On the "Today" show, Rancic, 37, told Ann Curry that her cancer was diagnosed while she was going through a third attempt at in vitro fertilization, after her IVF doctor recommended she get a mammogram despite being under 40. The cancer was found at an early stage, she said, and she will have surgery followed by six and a half weeks of radiation treatment.