Sportscaster Erin Andrews has made a name for herself for being a strong woman in the male-dominated world of sports journalism. But after opening up in a recent interview, Andrews has revealed that she spent 2016 secretly battling cervical cancer — proving she's even more badass than we thought.
In a new interview with Sports Illustrated's The MMQB, the 38-year-old revealed that she was diagnosed with the condition in September 2016 and underwent two surgeries before learning she was cancer-free.
According to The National Cancer Institute, cervical cancer is the third leading type of cancer in women. The most common symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain in various parts of the body, swelling and bloating, changes in appetite and weight and bowel and bladder problems.
Erin learned she had cervical cancer in September. The horrible news came just five months after settling her lawsuit involving a stalker releasing nude photos of her filmed through a peephole of the Tennessee hotel.
"After the trial everyone kept telling me, 'You're so strong for going through all of this, for holding down a job in football, for being the only woman on the crew,'" she told the magazine. "Finally, I got to the point where I believed it too: 'Hey, I have cancer, but dammit, I am strong, and I can do this.'"
While Andrews' oncologist advised her to get surgery immediately, the headstrong reporter instead went back to work, undergoing surgery a few weeks later in Los Angeles. Just a few days following the procedure, in true Andrews fashion, the reporter got straight back to the job she loves. "I'm not watching any football games at home this year. This is our Super Bowl year, and I'm not missing the Super Bowl," she told her doctor.
Her fiancée attempted to persuade her to reconsider and refrain from hopping on a plane to Green Bay, Wisconsin, two days later, but she was too tough to sit on the sidelines.
"You wouldn't miss a game. You'd play through any injury, do whatever it takes to get back out there. That's going to be me," she told him.
"Should I have been standing for a full game five days after surgery? Let's just say the doctor didn't recommend that," Andrews admitted. "But just as I felt during my trial, sports were my escape. I needed to be with my crew."
On November 1, the sportscaster underwent a second and final procedure, learning 16 days later that she was cancer-free and wouldn't need chemotherapy or radiation.
While it may be daunting for celebrities to reveal their hardships and struggles with such illnesses as cancer, the awareness they are able to raise with their platform is immeasurable. Way to go, Andrews!
What Do YOU Think?
Do you know anyone that has battled cervical cancer? Do celebrities raise significant awareness of diseases and illnesses when they reveal their personal struggles? Do you think Erin should have taken more time to recover before returning to work?