When Giuliana Rancic was first diagnosed with breast cancer at 36 years old, she was shocked.
The E! News personality, best known for hosting Fashion Police, describes herself at the time as "perfectly healthy" during an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, and with no history of the disease in her family.
"I knew if I could get it, anyone could get it," she told PopCulture, adding that this is what led her to be so open about her diagnosis, treatment and eventual bilateral mastectomy. "That realization, combined with a job that that happens to give me an incredible platform to reach millions of women around the world, is what propelled me to go public."
Disclosing the details of her health problems certainly put her in the public eye during a very tough time in her life, but it made a difference in a very tangible way, she added. "When I hear women say they got their first mammogram or they do breast checks more regularly because of my story, I am reminded that I definitely made the right decision to go public," she told PopCulture.
Almost seven years after undergoing her double mastectomy, Rancic told PopCulture her scars serve as proof of her ability to overcome anything life throws at her.
"I embrace my scars and I’m very proud of them," she said. "I see them as reminders of conquering a very tough time in my life. They are a daily reminder of how strong I am and that I can tackle anything!"
In addition to spending time with husband Bill and 5-year-old son Edward, Rancic has been filling her days building her clothing line G by Giuliana for HSN, launching the Rancic line of Giuliana Prosecco, and starting construction on their fourth RPM restaurant. But she always makes time for the cause close to her heart, both through her breast cancer initiative FabUWish and the Not One Type campaign, with which she helped launch alongside Genentech, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, and ThirdLove in April.
"When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I had no idea that there were so many different types of breast cancer and I particularly had no idea why it was important to know that," she told PopCulture of the campaign.
"Breast cancer is not a one-size-fits-all disease so chances are you won’t be getting the same treatment as the woman next to you with breast cancer," she continued. "That’s what’s so great about the Not One Type campaign. It’s all about letting women know why it’s important to know the specifics of their breast cancer and the questions to ask their doctor."
For more information on Not One Type, visit NotOneType.org.
Photo credit: Instagram/Giuliana Rancic