You’ve seen her on your TV screen and probably remember when she was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2011. Today, E! host Giuliana Rancic credits her strong support system for getting her through that difficult time, along with some key lifestyle changes. We recently had the chance to catch up with Rancic at a pop-up shop for the bra brand ThirdLove in New York City’s Soho neighborhood. The event was co-sponsored by ThirdLove, Genentech, a biotechnology corporation, and the charitable organization Living Beyond Breast Cancer in honor of Rancic’s new campaign, Not One Type, which is raising awareness for the fact that not all breast cancers are the same.
At the event, Rancic opened up about what it was like to get her diagnosis. “When I found out I had breast cancer, I was 36 years old with no family history,” she recalled. “It was such a shock and I was going through IVF, and my doctor told me I had to get a mammogram before treatment.” To get through those trying times, Rancic leaned on the phrase “This too shall pass”; she’d repeat it over and over again to the point where she could believe it and keep going.
Here, five pieces of advice Rancic has for other breast cancer patients.
Ask the right questions
Rancic stressed how important it is for women to ask their doctors questions after getting a breast cancer diagnosis. “When you get diagnosed, it’s very scary and one thing I tell women going through it is ask the right questions,” she said. “A lot of women don’t realize what the questions are to ask, so if you go to notonetype.org, there’s actually a list that you can print out or take a screenshot and bring it to your doctors office and ask those questions. They’re the perfect questions to ask.”
Rely on your support system
Going through a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery was “hard, very hard,” Rancic said. Luckily, she had “an incredible husband by my side and my whole family so I got through it one day at a time.” The things that had seemed so important before her diagnosis suddenly no longer mattered, she added. “I wasn’t worried about anything else: my hair, my makeup, all of that stuff that I usually focus on at work, I wasn’t worried about that, it was just about getting healthy.”
Clean your routine
Her diagnosis inspired Rancic to change her entire lifestyle. “I started taking a much closer look at everything, from what I was eating and drinking to what I was putting on my body,” she said. “I did a lot of research and I changed a lot of the products I was using and I really started to focus on clean beauty.”
Less is more
Rancic told us that coconut oil is one of her beauty MVPs. “I use a lot of coconut oil and I’ll scent things with lavender,” she said. “I went online and found ways that people were making face masks and using eggs and ingredients that I had at home and of course buying things as well.” She also uses coconut oil to take off her makeup (“it’s the most amazing makeup remover!”) since it moisturizes and doesn’t irritate her skin.
Rancic has also cut through the clutter of her medicine cabinet and is left with only the staples, most of which she makes herself. “I really simplified my beauty regimen and I don’t really have a lot of stuff anymore,” she said. “There’s this trend in beauty where less is more and it’s not about how much you have, but it’s just using the right things.”
When in doubt, take a walk
For some, self care means putting on a sheet mask or lighting candles, but Rancic swears by something a little different. “I enjoy my ‘me time’ by walking around the city, whatever city I’m in,” she told us. “We live in Chicago and even on a cold day when people would rather be inside, I love putting on eight layers, a big coat, hat, scarf, gloves and getting totally bundled up and just walking down Michigan Avenue for an hour.”
This habit helps the busy TV star “get the stress out” and relax. “Some people do yoga, some people meditate, I just love feeling alive,” she said. “I think that had something to do with going through breast cancer … I’m such an active person and for a long time, I felt low energy and I was in bed a lot—so I don’t take for granted the fact that I have legs that work and a strong body that I can go outside and just walk.”