‘Today’ Show Contributor Jill Martin Reveals Cancer Battle

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Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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“Today” show contributor Jill Martin revealed she is battling breast cancer just one week after testing positive for the BRCA gene.

“I am in shock, but at the same time I’m so grateful because it could be a very different story,” Martin told People. Martin had just completed a simple BRCA test to determine whether she had a higher possibility of developing breast or ovarian cancer. “Of course I’m devastated. You hear the C-word and you think the worst,” she said.

Martin expressed the emotional rollercoaster that followed.

“But after you hear the word and you absorb it, you then have to be your own best friend,” she said.

“And also having the platform to share my story has given me strength, because I feel like while I’m healing, I will be able to help literally save lives. And if I save one life from this, then this process will have been worth it for me,” she told People.

Martin underwent a mammogram in January, and it came back normal. Her doctor suggested genetic testing following her fibroid surgery, which prompted her to take an at-home test.

“I spit into this tube and I mailed it in and honestly I forgot about it, and three weeks later I got a call saying, ‘You tested positive,'” she said.

Martin decided to move forward with a preventative bilateral mastectomy, but was told it was too late — she had already developed breast cancer, which was discovered during an MRI.

“I went in and I remember she said it’s cancer and I remember saying, ‘Is it treatable?’ And she said, ‘Yes, yes, you’re going to be okay,'” Martin said to People.


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Martin begins her leave of absence from “Today” immediately to undergo surgery and begin treatment.

“I really would rather not have to have chemotherapy, but if that’s something I have to deal with, I’ll deal with it,” Martin said. (RELATED: Sarah Ferguson Undergoes Breast Cancer Surgery)

“The scary part of this is the unknown. It’s going into a surgery and not knowing if you’re going to come out needing chemotherapy or radiation treatment—that is probably the scariest part to me,” she said.

Martin also plans on going in for preventative hysterectomy surgery after her mastectomy.

“I’m allowed to be sad and scared and mad and angry and also grateful and lucky and proactive. You’re allowed to be all those things together,” Martin said to People, as she summarized her emotions surrounding this journey.