Former "Dancing With The Stars" co-host Samantha Harris has revealed that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is set to undergo a double mastectomy to treat the disease.
The 40-year-old mother of two told People magazine that she felt a lump in her right breast during a routine self-examination the previous fall and saw a breast cancer specialist months later.
"It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest," she told the magazine.
The doctor performed a needle biopsy and a lumpectomy, a procedure in which some tissue is surgically removed. She was then diagnosed with breast cancer. Harris said she later saw other specialists and was told she could undergo either a double mastectomy, in which both breasts are removed, or another lumpectomy with radiation therapy. The latter treatment often produces side effects, such as skin problems and fatigue.
Harris said she had had a clean mammogram -- a procedure used to screen for breast cancer -- shortly before she detected her lump. She told People she "felt so much calmer" after choosing to undergo a double mastectomy. The surgery will take place later this month.
"Thks for the well wishes, kindness & support," she tweeted on Wednesday, April 9. "It means so much to me & my family! It's a tough road but I'm here to stand up & fight cancer."
Harris and husband Michael Hess share two daughters -- Josselyn, 6, and Hillary, 3.
"Dancing With The Stars" co-host Tom Bergeron sends "positive thoughts," "prayers"
Tom Bergeron, who remains a "Dancing With The Stars" co-host, tweeted a message of support for Harris, saying: "Join me in sending positive thoughts and prayers to my former @DancingABC co-host @SamanthaHarris as she kicks cancer's ass #standuptocancer."
Harris served as a co-host on "Dancing With The Stars" between season 2, which premiered in 2006, and season 9, which ended in fall 2009. She was replaced by former show winner Brooke Burke-Charvet, who exited the series earlier this year. Erin Andrews took her place for the current season 18. Burke-Charvet also battled cancer -- in her thyroid. She underwent surgery for in 2012 and remains cancer-free.
Harris is also known for her work as a co-host of "Entertainment Tonight" and has appeared on shows such as "90210," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "Drop Dead Gorgeous."
(Pictured above: Samantha Harris, husband Michael Hess and daughters Josselyn, 6, and Hillary, 3, appear at the premiere of DisneyToon Studios' animated film "The Pirate Fairy" in Burbank, California on March 22, 2014.)