When Wanda Sykes is on television she is usually outspoken and hilarious. But in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres to air on Monday, Sykes discusses a very serious and personal subject: Her fight with cancer.
“I had breast cancer…I know, it’s scary,” Sykes said with a short chuckle.
The cancer was discovered in February when she was going for a breast reduction operation, because as she said, “I was tired of knocking over stuff.”
Sykes said her back was sore and “it wasn’t until after the reduction that in the lab work…that they found that I had DCIS [Ductal carcinoma in situ] in my left breast. I was very, very lucky because DCIS is basically stage zero cancer, so I was very lucky.
She added, “Cancer is cancer.”
Sykes said she has a family history of breast cancer on her mother’s side.
So she decided to go a difficult route and have a double mastectomy: “I had both breast removed because now I have zero chance of breast cancer,” she explained, adding “it sounds scary upfront but what do you want? Do you want to wait and not be as fortunate when it comes back its too late?”
Never one to hide who she is, Sykes kept quiet about the cancer and didn’t know if she wanted to tell the public.
“I mean how many things could I have?” she asked. “I’m black, lesbian, and I’m like ‘I can’t be the poster child for everything.’”
“At least with the LGBT issues we get a parade,” Sykes said, as she swirled her arm around like swinging a rope. She added, “I was real hesitant about doing this because I hate walking, [and] I got a lot of walks coming up.”