Exclusive: Joanna Kerns Opens up about Breast Cancer Battle

Actress and director Joanna Kerns has come to The Doctors to open up about her breast cancer diagnosis and decision to undergo a double mastectomy.

After a recommendation from Christina Applegate, Joanna visited surgical breast specialist Dr. Kristi Funk at the Pink Lotus Breast Center. Due to Joanna's very dense breast tissue, Dr. Funk recommended high-contrast imaging. The high-contrast imaging discovered Joanna had a type of HER2 breast cancer and she decided to have a double mastectomy in December 2016.

Immediately following her double mastectomy, plastic surgeon Dr. Ritu Chopra performed a breast reconstruction on Joanna.

Watch: Drs. Exclusive: What Led to Joanna Kerns' Mastectomy Decision?

"For me, there was no question that this was the right thing to do," she says. "There is treatment for this. Women do not have to die from breast cancer. anymore."

She is happy to share with The Doctors, "I'm terrific. I'm back to a full life. I'm exercising. I'm getting to go back and direct [the series] 'This Is Us.'"

She explains that she choose the mastectomy so that she would not have to be looking over her shoulder every year worrying her cancer would return. While not an easy decision, Joanna says, "Mastectomy for me was the only way to go."

Watch: Breast Cancer Survivor Sues for Secondhand Smoke!

The Doctors enlisted the help of Joanna's former "Growing Pains" family to send their well-wishes to her. Watch the video below to hear messages from Kirk Cameron, Tracey Gold and Jeremy Miller.

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, get guidelines on how to perform a self-breast exam and when to schedule your mammogram at the United Breast Cancer Foundation and BreastCancer.org.

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