'Today' Show's Jill Martin Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Today's Jill Martin Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis

The lifestyle contributor announced that she was diagnosed shortly after testing for the BRCA gene.

Today show lifestyle contributor Jill Martin shared a health diagnosis on Monday. 

"I have been diagnosed with breast cancer," the 47-year-old morning show contributor told hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie through tears. "And it feels like someone else is telling this story."

Martin said that her diagnosis "happened really fast," just one week after she tested positive for the BRCA gene. According to the Mayo Clinic, "the BRCA gene test is a blood test that uses DNA analysis to identify harmful changes (mutations) in either one of the two breast cancer susceptibility genes — BRCA1 and BRCA2. People who inherit mutations in these genes are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer compared with the general population."

The TV personality shared that she had a clear and successful mammogram in January, but the doctor suggested a series of genetic tests to determine if she was at a higher risks for certain cancers. 

After ordering an at-home test, Martin said that three weeks later she got the results, which concluded she was BRCA2 and had a 60-90 percent chance of breast cancer. In turn, Martin made the decision to go through with preventative surgery that would reduce the chances of cancer to just one percent. 

However, during routine planning for the procedure and after a series of MRI's and other scans, it was revealed that she has breast cancer.

"I was planning on getting preventative surgery, that was my choice, because I have a 60-90 percent chance of getting breast cancer," she told the hosts as she appeared with her doctor, Elisa Port. "When I went in for my scans, to get the preventative surgery, and this was all in a matter of three weeks, they found cancer."

She added, "That test saved my life. Had I not gotten the test, I wouldn't have gotten the scans and we would have been telling a very different story." 

Martin's maternal grandmother died from breast cancer, and her mother is a breast cancer survivor. To her surprise, the gene mutation wasn't on her mother's side -- but rather her father's side. This puts him at risk, and makes it important for him to get screenings as well. 

"I always associated this with something women got," Martin said of breast cancer. "And so many people I've spoken to have said I didn't know this was something men should be tested for."

Martin shared that she is scheduled to undergo surgery this week and revealed the toughest part about this journey so far.

"What I'm most sad about is watching my parents watch me go through this," Martin said. "The surgery itself, I feel safe with her, I don't know what's going to happen but I know that while I'm healing and while I'm resting and while I prep for the second surgery, everyone can go out and get their genetic testing and their families can know."

Ahead of her road to recovery and cancer treatment, Martin shared how she is feeling and why she chose to share such a personal story.

"I feel devested and sad and scared but I feel empowered and strong," she told her Today colleagues through tears. "And my dad said, 'We got this.' And so my husband is right there. And I have the best doctors and my family and I got this. I got this, but please see your doctors and see if genetic testing is appropriate."