Wanda Sykes: I Had Breast Cancer and a Double Mastectomy

Opening up to Ellen DeGeneres, the 47-year-old comedienne goes public with her breast-cancer diagnosis from earlier this year

When Wanda Sykes went in to receive breast-reduction surgery in February, she was planning on just having the simple procedure to help ease her back pain and stop her from "knocking over stuff" with her "real big boobs." But what the 47-year-old comedienne got instead was the news that she actually had stage-zero breast cancer in her left breast.

Instead of going back to her doctor every three months to receive a mammogram and MRI to make sure the cancer didn't get any worse, Sykes opted for a more extreme route: she had a double mastectomy.

"I had both breasts removed … because now I have zero chance of having breast cancer," Sykes said during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres that will air Monday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

"It sounds scary up front," she said. "But what do you want? Do you want to wait and not be as fortunate when it comes back and it’s too late?"

Apparently, Sykes -- a mom to 2-year old twins with wife Alex -- has a history of breast cancer on her mother's side of the family, and didn't want to take the risk of the growth turning into anything more serious. Doctors had found a DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), which is basically stage-one breast cancer, starting in the tubes that move milk from the breast to the nipple. It took Sykes several months to be comfortable enough with the treatment to come out and talk about it publicly.

"I was like, I don't know, should I talk about it or what? How many things could I have? I'm Black, then Lesbian. I can't be the poster child for everything," she said. "At least with the LGBT issues we get a parade, we get a float, it's a party. [But] I was real hesitant about doing this, because I hate walking. I got a lot of [cancer] walks coming up."

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