Giuliana Rancic Getting Double Mastectomy: "I Will Come Back a Better Woman"

E! News makes "difficult decision" to undergo procedure but vows to make a speedy recovery

By Marcus Errico Dec 05, 2011 1:05 PMTags

Some difficult news from one of our good E! friends.

Giuliana Rancic, who announced she was battling breast cancer in October, has decided to undergo a double mastectomy and immediate reconstruction. But in typical Giuliana style, she is turning her personal struggle into a positive message.

In exclusive comments to E! News and on Today this morning, Giuliana says she has three big reasons for going public.

"First, I would like to take the stigma away. 'Mastectomy' the word seemed so scary to me at first. After doing research and seeing the advancements, the surgery has come a long way from 20 years ago. The results can be incredible.

"Not only can it save your life, but you can come out feeling healthier and with a positive self-image.

"Second, I want to encourage everyone to be proactive with their health and get checked out."

And there's another, more personal reason.

"When I went public with my breast cancer diagnosis six weeks ago, the overwhelming outpouring of love, prayers and support really helped me heal faster. I want to make sure to thank everyone and give them an update for being so kind and loving and supportive."

Giuliana says that she opted for the procedure after careful deliberation and in consultation with a handpicked team of experts, "including top doctors, radiologists, women who've had mastectomies and women who've opted for alternative treatments, like lumpectomies, radiation and anti-estrogen therapy.

"It was not an easy decision but it was the best decision for me." she says.

Appearing by her side on Today was husband Bill Rancic, who has been steadfast in his support.

"Bill's been incredible," says Giuliana. "One of my first thoughts I had when I started considering the mastectomy was, 'What am I going to look like?' And then, 'What will my husband think?'

"But Bill told me, 'I don't care about the physical results. I just want you around for another 50 years. I need you healthy. I need you as my wife. I need you as a mother to our kids.'"

The surgery is set to take place next week. But Giuliana is anticipating a quick convalescence.

"I hope for a full recovery by New Year's Eve. We're planning to be in Times Square!" she says.

"2012 is our year," adds Bill. "We're going to ring in the New Year happy and healthy."

First they have to get through the next few weeks.

"Am I scared? Yes. Scared of the unknown. Scared of the pain," Giuliana confesses. "But I'm not scared of what I'll be like. I'll have scars, but I like scars. Scars are beautiful because they tell a story.

"I'll be able to say that I survived something major and it's made me stronger. I will be a better woman for it."