Giuliana Rancic on breast cancer: 'You don't need a microphone or a stage to help someone'

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BY: GIBSON JOHNS

Giuliana Rancic is a firm believer that she was put on this planet with a specific a purpose and that everything happens for a reason. So when the former E! News correspondent was diagnosed with -- and battled through -- breast cancer four years ago, she knew that it meant that she had to act on it.

"God gave me this personality that's very carefree and very open and he gave me this big Italian mouth knowing that I would get out there and do something with it," she says. "I can use my platform to not just tell people what's happening in Hollywood or what people are wearing, but more importantly I can also include messaging that can maybe change or save a life ... and that is truly a privilege."

READ MORE SPECIAL COVERAGE ON BREAST CANCER AWARENESS: Celebrities who have publicly battled breast cancer

But Rancic is quick to clarify that spreading awareness about breast cancer doesn't require such a prominent platform in order to make a difference: anyone who's been affected by the disease -- anyone who has a story to tell -- can contribute to the fight by simply sharing that story.

"You don't need a microphone or a TV show or a stage to help someone and to share your story and change a life," she explains. "It's a beautiful thing when you see women who have breast cancer, which is such a personal process, go public with it and share their story because ultimately what they're trying to do is help other women."



Conversely, just because a woman who has fought the fight and survived their battle with breast cancer doesn't necessarily mean that they are going to feel comfortable or compelled to share their story just because they have a lot of visibility. And that's completely understandable, especially from the point of view of someone, like Rancic, who has gone through it themselves.

Photos of Giuliana contributing to the #PFChangsPink Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign:
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Giuliana Rancic on breast cancer: 'You don't need a microphone or a stage to help someone'
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"I know high profile people who are breast cancer survivors who want privacy and want to stay private. And I respect that completely. Having gone through it, I get it. [...] I just do it because I love to do it and I want to do it."

It comes as no surprise, then, that Rancic is heavily involved in breast cancer awareness campaigns and organizations, especially during the month of October -- Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Starting this week, she's partnering with P.F. Changs for the #PFChangsPink Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign which involves various, accessible ways for diners to give back.



"There are so many ways that people can get involved when they come to the restaurant," she explains. By giving everyday people simple ways to donate to the cause, Rancic hopes to make it easier for people that want to help, but can't afford or don't have the time to do so in a financially huge way, to support the women in their communities.

Throughout the month of October, P.F. Changs aims to donate $100,000 to the American Cancer Society by giving one dollar every time diners order the Jicama Street Tacos as well as each time someone shares a photo on social media with one of their pink-adorned Warrior Horses using the hashtag #PFChangsPink.



"A lot of people during October want to help, but times are tough! And it's really hard to give a lot of money. That's what's so nice that a company like P.F. Changs can come along and make the donation on your behalf."

Rancic says that she "looks forward to October" every single year because giving back and spreading awareness excites her. In particular, "getting the word out about early detection" is critical for her.

Two months after announcing her diagnosis live on the "TODAY Show" in October 2011, Rancic underwent a double mastectomy after a lumpectomy failed to eliminate all of the cancer cells. Though the decision to go through the surgery was completely right for her, she's cautious about saying it would be right for everyone.



"The most important thing to tell women is, 'This is what I did, but it doesn't mean it's right for you.' A lot of women turn to me and go, 'What was your treatment like, what medicine were you on?,' and the one thing I realized was that breast cancer is very individual."

Though she stays away from advising women to do exactly what she did, Rancic does make sure to stress the importance of getting multiple opinions -- something that many women surprisingly don't do when it comes to their breast cancer treatment.

"Women will get a second or third opinion about how to cut their hair or what color to change it to, but when it comes to breast cancer, the first opinion that a lot of women get from their doctor is the path they go on," she explains. "But breast cancer is a big deal! It's very scary. And you've got to get a second -- or maybe even a third opinion if you can."

"That was a big part of my journey -- was multiple opinions. And you can do that."



Another huge part of her journey? Her husband of eight years, Bill. She describes him as "the most important support system at the time" and "an excellent caregiver." And that excellence came stemmed from his insistence on taking the emotions -- regardless of how intense or overwhelming they were -- out of the equation.

"Bill would be the one to really take the emotion out of everything and go, 'Honey, we need to make good, knowledge-based decisions here -- not emotionally-based decisions.'

"He started this motto called 'Don't ask, tell': He wouldn't ask me if I needed anything, he would just tell me he was going to do something," she gushes. "That's something that anyone in the caregiver role could pick up and use."

The support didn't stop with Bill, though. Rancic says that she got "a tremendous amount of support," which is why she's dedicated so much of her time in the years since her battle to giving back to other women.

"You hear that there's a sisterhood that comes from being diagnosed with breast cancer -- and there truthfully is," Rancic says. "That's why I like to get involved in campaigns like this."

Celebrities who have publicly battled breast cancer:
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Celebrities who have publicly battled breast cancer
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Giuliana Rancic on breast cancer: 'You don't need a microphone or a stage to help someone'
Toronto, Canada - September, 17 2015 - Actress Cynthia Nixon (best known for Sex and the City) was in Toronto promoting her indie film JAMES WHITE. TIFF15, Toronto International Film Festival September 17, 2015 (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Sheryl Crowe arrives at the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO/ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ (Photo credit should read ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 01: Christina Applegate arrives at Dizzy Feet Foundation's 5th Annual Celebration Of Dance Gala held at Club Nokia on August 1, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
Actress and singer Olivia Newton-John performs at the American Music Theatre on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Lancaster, Pa. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)
Robin Roberts arrives at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Hoda Kotb seen at backstage at the Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection 2015 presented by Macy's during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015 at The Theatre at Lincoln Center on Thursday, February 12, 2015 in New York. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Invision/AP)
Kathy Bates, a cast member in the FX series "American Horror Story: Hotel," poses for a portrait during the 2015 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 10: (EDITORS NOTE: This image has been digitally altered) Actress Maura Tierney of Showtime's 'The Affair' poses in the Getty Images Portrait Studio powered by Samsung Galaxy at the 2015 Summer TCA's at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 10, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Maarten de Boer/Getty Images)
US actress and UNHCR ambassador Angelina Jolie stands during a visit to a camp for displaced Iraqis in Khanke, a few kilometres (miles) from the Turkish border in Iraq's Dohuk province, on January 25, 2015. Run by authorities from the three-province autonomous Kurdish region of north Iraq with the help of the United Nations refugee agency, the UNHCR, Khanke aims to house 18,000 people, said the agency's Liena Veide. AFP PHOTO/SAFIN HAMED (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 13 NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- NBCUniversal Portrait Studio, August 2015 -- Pictured: TV personality Giuliana Rancic from 'Fashion Police' poses for a portrait at the NBCUniversal Summer Press Day during the 2015 Summer TCA Tour at The Beverly Hilton on August 12, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by: Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
FILE - This April 21, 2012 file photo shows author Judy Blume attending the LA Times Festival of Books at the USC Campus in Los Angeles. Blume says she was diagnosed with breast cancer over the summer but is "feeling stronger every day" after surgery. The 74-year-old Blume wrote on her blog Wednesday, Aug. 5, that she learned in June that she had cancer and underwent a mastectomy and reconstruction in late July. She writes that she now walks a couple of miles each morning and dines out at night. Blume hopes to begin writing again soon.(AP Photo/Katy Winn, file)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - JULY 05: Nancy Reagan attends The Grand Opening of D23 Presents Treasures of The Walt Disney Archives on July 5, 2012 in Simi Valley, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/FilmMagic)
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Wanda Sykes during the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony, Saturday, July 4, 2015, in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The event marks the 50th anniversary of a protest outside Independence Hall that would be a milestone in the fight for gay rights. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 24: Reporter Linda Ellerbee speaks during the 36th Annual Gracie Awards Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 24, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
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More for Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
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