It took exactly two days for WUSA-TV’s JC Hayward to tell everyone she has breast cancer. The Channel 9 veteran was diagnosed last Wednesday and made the announcement Friday at the end of her noon newscast.
“I was going to keep this a secret and not share it with anyone,” she explained to her viewers. But her friend and colleague Andrea Roane — who sat with Hayward as she delivered her news — persuaded her to go public by telling her: “You know what? This is a good thing for you to share it because maybe you can help someone else.”
Hayward told us she’s focused on reaching out to African-American women, who tend to get fewer mammograms and suffer greater death rates from the disease. The reaction has already been surprisingly positive, she said. Her Web site got more than 100,000 hits Friday after she made the announcement, and women are already walking up to her and saying, “I’m going to get my mammogram.”
The newscaster, who just celebrated 40 years at the station, discovered a lump in her right breast during a self-exam while on vacation. Like so many other television personalities battling the disease, her treatment and progress will be chronicled in on-air reports and a video diary.
She got some good news Monday: A second lump found in the breast is benign, and the first — detected early — is only Stage One or Two and is receptive to cancer drug treatment. She might need radiation, she said, but not chemo. Good — so no worries about losing all that anchor-lady hair?
“I already wear wigs,” she said with a laugh, “so that was not an issue.”