Wanda Sykes: I had a double mastectomy

CENTURY CITY, CA - APRIL 17: Comedian Wanda Sykes arrives at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards held at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on April 17, 2010 in Century City, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Wanda Sykes Angela Weiss

Wanda Sykes arrives at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards on April 17, 2010, in Century City, Calif.
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(CBS) Comedienne Wanda Sykes made a very serious revelation during an interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

In the appearance, which is set to air Monday, Sykes admits that she was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and decided to have a double mastectomy.

"I had breast cancer," Sykes, 47, said, according to reports. "Yeah, I know it's scary."

The cancer was found after Sykes had a breast reduction in February.

"I had real big boobs and I just got tired of knocking over stuff. Every time I eat - Oh Lord," she explained. "I'd carry a Tide stick everywhere I go. My back was sore so it was time to have a reduction."

Sykes continued, "It wasn't until after the reduction that in the lab work, the pathology, that they found that I had DCIS [ductal carcinoma in situ] in my left breast. I was very, very lucky because DCIS is basically stage-zero cancer. So I was very lucky."

But, she added, "Cancer is still cancer. I had the choice of, 'You can go back every three months and get it checked. Have a mammogram, MRI every three months just to see what it's doing.' But, I'm not good at keeping on top of stuff. I'm sure I'm overdue for an oil change and a teeth cleaning already."

Because she has a history of breast cancer on her mother's side of the family, Sykes explained she opted to have a bilateral mastectomy.

"I had both breasts removed, because now I have zero chance of having breast cancer," she said. "It sounds scary up front, but what do you want? Do you want to wait and not be as fortunate when it comes back and it's too late?"

She told DeGeneres that she was reluctant to talk about her diagnosis: "I was like I don't know, should I talk about it or what. How many things could I have? I'm black, then lesbian. I can't be the poster child for everything."

Sykes, who is the mother of 2-year-old twins with wife Alex, added, with a laugh: "At least with the LGBT issues we get a parade, we get a float, it's a party. [But] I was real hesitant about doing this, because I hate walking. I got a lot of [cancer] walks coming up."

Read more here.
  • Jessica Derschowitz

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