Sidner shared the emotional health update Monday on CNN, telling viewers she is in her second month of chemotherapy treatments and will receive radiation and a double mastectomy.
"I have never been sick a day of my life," she said. "I don't smoke. I rarely drink. Breast cancer does not run in my family. And yet here I am, with stage 3 breast cancer. It is hard to say out loud."
Sidner co-anchors "CNN News Central" and serves as senior national correspondent. She has reported from numerous countries as an international correspondent and was part of a team that won a Peabody for its Arab Spring coverage, according to her CNN.com bio. The anchor has also received Asian Television Awards and Alliance for Women in Media Gracie Awards, among other accolades.
Sidner told People she learned that her mammogram had raised concerns just before traveling to Israel in October. "Seeing the kind of suffering going on where I was and seeing people still live through the worst thing that has ever happened to them with grace and kindness, I was blown away by their resilience," she told the outlet. "In some weird way, it helped me with my own perspective on what I am going to be facing."
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Though Sidner noted on CNN that stage 3 is "not a death sentence anymore for the vast majority of women," she said she was "shocked" to learn that Black women are 41% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women, according to the American Cancer Society.
With that statistic in mind, she urged women to "please, for the love of God," get their mammograms every year and do self exams. "Try to catch it before I did," Sidner stressed. Closing the segment, she choked up while reflecting that she thanks cancer "for choosing me" and teaching her that she is "still madly in love with" life.
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"Just being alive feels really different for me now," she said. "I am happier because I don't stress about foolish little things that used to annoy me, and now every single day that I breathe another breath, I can celebrate that I am still here with you, I am here with my co-anchors, my colleagues, my family, and I can love and cry and laugh and hope, and that, my dear friends, is enough."
Sidner quickly received support from her CNN colleagues, including Kaitlan Collins, who posted on X, formerly Twitter, "I am in awe of your strength, @sarasidnerCNN. This is a message that will save lives."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: CNN's Sara Sidner reveals breast cancer diagnosis