Sara Sidner Reveals She’s Undergoing a Double Mastectomy to Treat Breast Cancer

“What I have learned so far in my cancer journey is treating it is more a marathon than a sprint," Sidner said

<p>CJ Rivera/Invision/AP</p> Sara Sidner

CJ Rivera/Invision/AP

Sara Sidner

Sara Sidner is taking the next step in her journey to become cancer-free.

The CNN anchor, 51, who was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in October 2023 and is undergoing treatment, revealed that she would be “going under the knife” on Wednesday, May 22 in order to increase her chances of survival.

“After five months of chemo, I have not yet become cancer-free. The next phase is a double mastectomy,” she shared on CNN’s May 21st broadcast.

“A 2016 study found that the 10 year survival rate for a bilateral mastectomy is 90.3%,” she continued. “I like those odds, so I am going under the knife tomorrow and will be out recovering for a few weeks.”

Related: Stars Who Faced Breast Cancer and Shared Their Stories

Sidner did not say when she would return to the CNN anchor desk, but noted, “What I have learned so far in my cancer journey is treating it is more a marathon than a sprint.”

She said that Kate Bolduan and John Berman, who have co-anchored CNN News Central since April, 2023, would take over in her stead during her recovery.

Sidner recalled how she felt after getting her diagnosis to PEOPLE in January, saying that she spent some time “processing it” by herself for a few days and working through feelings of helplessness before resolving to do what she could to send her cancer into remission.

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"I just made a decision. I'm like, 'No, you're going to live and you're going to stop this and you're going to do every single thing in your arsenal to survive this. Period.' And I have been so much happier in my life since ... I mean happier than I was before cancer," she said.

The CNN senior national correspondent shared that she wasn’t going to put her life on hold for treatment, and has appeared at several events and work commitments while undergoing chemotherapy. Though, she has noticed some changes in her energy.

Related: What to Know About Breast Cancer at Every Stage of Your Life, According to Experts

"I am fatigued and I am slower, and I have to be more thoughtful about how I take care of myself," she said in January.

Sidner told PEOPLE that she wanted to share her story in order to encourage others to stay on top of their own health checks and said that she hoped her strength would demonstrate that "it's not the end of your world."

"I don't put my personal stuff out there that often, but I can do something for someone because I have cancer. I can warn somebody," she says, referencing a statistic that one in eight women develop breast cancer in their lifetimes. "To all my sisters, Black, White, and Brown: Please, for the love of God, do your checks yourself. ... Don't play with this, just please try to catch it before I did."

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