A Survivor's Thoughts on Katie Couric's On-Air Mammography

Beth Brophy Health Guide
  • Oh please.

    That is my unvarnished reaction to Katie Couric’s on-air mammogram last week. The poster girl of colon cancer awareness kicked off National Breast Cancer Awareness month by getting an on-air mammogram on the Today show this morning. America’s Sweetheart, who’s been getting some bad publicity lately, was trying to educate women about the importance of early detection, diagnosis and treatment, gushes People. She wanted to show her viewers that while a mammogram is slightly uncomfortable, it’s nothing to fear. And if Brave Katie can do it, so can we.

    Gee, thanks, Katie. Sorry if I find the whole televised mammogram routine just a wee bit patronizing. I know it’s not politically correct to make fun of Katie. After her husband died of colon cancer in 1998, she became a staunch advocate for the disease, helping to raise millions for research. And after Katie had her famous on-air colonoscopy in 2000, cancer colon testing rose 20 percent, which can only be considered a “good thing,” to paraphrase Martha, another celebrity who, like Katie, is wearing out her welcome on my TV screen.

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    It’s not that I doubt Katie’s sincerity about colon cancer. But now, with this mammogram shtick, I’m thinking that Katie is spreading her cancer concerns a little too thin. So Katie, here’s a little advice: stick to colon cancer. You were the first celebrity to claim it, so you have dibs. And let’s face it, you’re Katie- Come- Lately on the breast cancer celebrity bandwagon. Rosie O’Donnell, the women of ER, the men of Desperate Housewives, the Baldwin brothers, they’re way ahead of you.

    And Katie, another thing: I’m afraid of what your on-air stunt may unleash: Hordes of celebrities, undoubtedly equally sincere, turning their personal medical tests and procedures into a reality show. What’s next, Al Roker at the proctologist’s office? Is nothing private anymore?

    I really don’t want to watch anyone else’s mammogram. Do you?

Published On: October 11, 2005