‘Today’ Contributor Jill Martin Says Breast Cancer ‘Knocked Me Down’ After Double Mastectomy: ‘I’m Choosing to Fight’

“Honestly, physically, I am doing OK. (Emotionally is a different story; it's been a roller coaster)” the NBC morning show contributor said

TODAY -- Pictured: Jill Martin

The Today show’s Jill Martin underwent a successful double mastectomy just weeks after revealing she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

In a new personal essay, the lifestyle and commerce contributor shared an update on her health after having surgery three weeks ago.

“Honestly, physically, I am doing OK. (Emotionally is a different story; it’s been a roller coaster)” she wrote. “I had an aggressive tumor removed, and my surgeon, Dr. Elisa Port, removed 18 lymph nodes, one of which was cancerous.”

The 47-year-old shared that her oncologist, Dr. Joseph Sparano at Mount Sinai in New York City, told her that there is “good chance” that she’s cancer free after the surgery but she’ll need additional treatment to ensure that.

Martin was diagnosed with breast cancer just one week after she tested positive for the BRCA gene, the gene linked to a significantly higher possibility of developing breast or ovarian cancer. She expressed how grateful she is for the amount of support she’s received in the weeks since.

“I cannot tell you how helpful, inspiring, heartwarming, and life-changing it was to get all of your messages of strength and prayer after I shared the news of my breast cancer diagnosis,” Martin said. “I am so touched, blown away and humbled. That really is what has helped me during this slow journey of healing.”

Jill Martin attends the 2017 Night Of Stars Gala at Cipriani Wall Street

Jill Martin.


Although she’s still at the beginning of her journey, Martin said she quickly realized how much cancer has impacted her family. Because of that, she’s encouraging others to stay on top of their health as soon as possible.

“I personally think it is easier to go through it than watch your loved one suffer; at least, that has been my experience with my family,” Martin wrote. “It hurts me the most watching them watch me go through this. It shakes a family and a household. The past three weeks have felt like a lifetime.”

“Any preventative measures you can take, although not easy, are easier than battling cancer. This entire process is life-changing, but adding cancer to the mix is a different kind of battle — one I do not wish on anyone,” she continued. “Knowledge is power. Technology is power. I am writing this to ask that you please be your own best friend and advocate and educate yourself. No family should have to go through this unnecessarily.”

Jill Martin attends The Mother New York Tastemaker Event

On Wednesday, Martin said she’ll learn the treatment plant her doctor has created for her. She already knows that she’ll need a full hysterectomy — due to fibroid issues in the past — and she’ll need to take anti-hormonal drugs for 5 years.

“I will most likely need chemotherapy because of the aggressiveness of the tumor,” she added. “That is the part that hit me the hardest — the idea of chemo.”

Martin admitted that she’s “still in a state of shock” because everything has happened so fast, but she’s “choosing to fight.”

“Cancer has knocked me down. It has,” she said. “I used to jump out of bed every day to begin work, but now every day is a choice. Do I feel like staying under the covers and crying? Yes. Every day. But I did that when I first started recovery … and little by little, like today, I am choosing to get up. I am choosing to fight. And I am choosing to use my strength and platform to do my best to crush cancer.”

“I thought it was important to share this journey with you in real time,” Martin continued. “I have shared the happy, the sad and now the scary. We will get through this together.”

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