Ever the picture of professionalism, Christiane Amanpour began her daily international news programme on Monday with a personal message viewers may not have been expecting. The veteran CNN anchor revealed she has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and that the past few weeks had been "a bit of a roller coaster for me".
"I've had successful major surgery to remove it, and I'm now undergoing several months of chemotherapy for the very best possible long-term prognosis," she said, full of poise.
The British-Iranian journalist, 63, is CNN's chief international news anchor and renowned for her coverage of international conflicts, including the Gulf and Bosnian wars, as well as the genocide in Rwanda.
Amanpour, who is in London, has been off air for four weeks because of the diagnosis, as Bianna Golodryga, the network's senior global affairs analyst, filled in on the show Amanpour.
With her chemo treatments to come, Amanpour will reportedly continue to anchor Mondays through Wednesdays for the time being, bar another three weeks off coming up at the end of June, according to CNN.
In her announcement, the multi-award-winning anchor pointed out that ovarian cancer affects "millions of women around the world" and that she feels "fortunate to have health insurance through work and incredible doctors who are treating me in a country underpinned by, of course, the brilliant NHS".
The reason for revealing her personal situation, she said, was done "in the interest of transparency but in truth, really, mostly, as a shout-out to early diagnosis".
She urged women to "educate themselves on this disease", to "get all the regular screenings and scans that you can" and to "always listen to your bodies".
"Ensure that your legitimate medical concerns are not dismissed or diminished," she said.
Ovarian cancer is the eighth most commonly occurring cancer in women and the 18th most commonly occurring cancer overall, according to the World Cancer Research Fund.
More than 313,000 new cases were reported in 2020, according to the Global Cancer Observatory, and there were more than 207,000 deaths from the disease the same year.
Since her announcement, an outpouring of support for Amanpour has flooded the internet, including from her colleagues.
Jeff Zucker, CNN Worldwide president, said: "I want to applaud Christiane Amanpour for her candour, bravery and always working towards the greater good.
"As a cancer survivor, I too encourage people to listen to their bodies and get all early cancer screenings available to them. From our CNN family, we wish Christiane the very best for a full and speedy recovery."
Golodryga wrote on Twitter: "You're not only one of the best journalists in the business, you're also one of the toughest. Wishing you a speedy and healthy recovery in the weeks ahead. No doubt you'll end up on top."
Even peers on other networks chimed in. "Thank you for being open," NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent and anchor Andrea Mitchell wrote to her counterpart on Twitter. "It is so important and typical of how strong and brave you've always been. Courage and honesty is your trademark. You will beat this too."
Amanpour's statement, which has been viewed 2.5 million times, was brief. She ended it by saying: “That’s my news, now let’s get to the news.”