Amy Robach announced she'd been diagnosed with cancer after an on-air mammogram on Oct. 1

November 15, 2013 at 05:00 AM EST

Ever since Katie Couric‘s on-air colonoscopy in 2000, morning shows have been bringing up close and personal awareness to preventive medical exams. (On Nov. 7, Today show anchors Matt Lauer and Al Roker underwent routine prostate checkups during a health segment.) But on Nov. 11, Good Morning America correspondent Amy Robach, 40, announced on air that her Oct. 1 mammogram — broadcast in front of millions of viewers — had revealed a sobering, life-changing reality: “It’s still hard for me to say out loud. I have breast cancer.” Her GMA colleague Robin Roberts, herself a breast-cancer survivor, had encouraged Robach to get the exam. “I was a little reluctant at first,” admitted Robach. “I’m 40, I’m the age, and I’ve been putting it off.” Although Robach said she doesn’t know how advanced her cancer is, she will be having a bilateral mastectomy on Nov. 14. “Robin’s words were still echoing inside of me,” said Robach. “If I got the mammogram on air and it saved one life, then it’s all worth it. It never occurred to me that life would be mine.”

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