'Dancing with the Stars' Erin Andrews talks cervical cancer and behind-the-scenes secrets

Erin Andrews' nearly two-decade career has taken her to the sidelines of the Super Bowl, the ESPN desk and the Dancing with the Stars stage, reporting as the nation's biggest names battle it out for that year's title. 

But at home, the sportscaster had to take  on a different kind of battle: Cervical cancer. 

Despite being "really good about going to to see the doctor," and responsible with her wellness checkups, Andrews didn't see the diagnosis coming when she got the call in early fall of 2016. 

“I was going in right before the football season started and just got word back that my exam did not go well," she explained to AOL Lifestyle. She didn't have any symptoms of the cancer and maintained a healthy lifestyle -- but at 38, Andrews fell into a vulnerable group. Over half the women diagnosed with the disease are between the ages of 35 and 55. 

“I was a wreck. I was on the road, getting ready for Week 3 of football season. I called my husband, I called my mom and dad and I remember asking my doctor ‘what am I supposed to tell my family?’”.

Asserted Dr. Jessica Shepherd, the OB/GYN partnering with Andrews for Hologic, Erin's diagnosis was an oddity. “Erin is an outlier because she went to the doctor every year," she explained.

RELATED: See Erin over the course of her career 

36 PHOTOS
Erin Andrews through her career
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Erin Andrews through her career
ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 20: ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews smiles on-air during the game between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Miami Hurricanes at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field on November 20, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia Tech beat Miami 41-23. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FL - July 2: Erin Andrews of ESPN (right) talks with infielder Evan Longoria #3 of the Tampa Bay Rays after play against the Boston Red Sox July 2, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 24: Erin Andrews of ESPN attends the ESPN the Magazine's 6th Annual Pre-Draft party at Espace on April 24, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 08: ESPN commentator Erin Andrews looks on during a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers against the New York Mets on July 8, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Dodgers 5-4. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Sportschrome/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 14: Erin Andrews attends the ESPY's Celebration Of Champions Athlete Kickoff at J Bar on July 14, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15: ***EXCLUSIVE*** ESPN reporter Erin Andrews, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, recipient of the Best Male Athlete and actress Demi Moore pose backstage during the 2009 ESPY awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The 17th annual ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 19 at 9PM ET on ESPN. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for ESPY)
RALEIGH, NC - SEPTEMBER 3: ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews reports from the sidelines prior to the game between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium on September 3, 2009 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 15: ESPN commentator Erin Andrews interviews coach Brian Kelly and quarterback Zach Collaros #12 of the Cincinnati Bearcats after play against the University of South Florida Bulls October 15, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
DANCING WITH THE STARS - ERIN ANDREWS and MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY - Since joining ESPN in 2004, Erin Andrews has become one of the most well-known sports reporters in the country. She teams with MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY, who returns for his eighth season. The all-new cast of celebrities and their professional partners hit the dance floor on ABC's 'Dancing with the Stars' with the highly anticipated two-hour season premiere, MONDAY, MARCH 22 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images)
GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 12: ESPN personality Erin Andrews interviews Frank Haith, head coach of the University of Miami Hurricanes after a win over the Virginia Tech Hokies in their quarterfinal game in the 2010 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 12, 2010 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
DANCING WITH THE STARS - ERIN ANDREWS - Since joining ESPN in 2004, Erin Andrews has become one of the most well-known sports reporters in the country. She teams with MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY, who returns for his eighth season. The all-new cast of celebrities and their professional partners hit the dance floor on ABC's 'Dancing with the Stars' with the highly anticipated two-hour season premiere, MONDAY, MARCH 22 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Chris Chavira/ABC via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 24: Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Erin Andrews are seen on March 24, 2010 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight, (12:05 - 1:05 a.m., ET), following 'Nightline,' featuring a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for MONDAY, APRIL 26 included actress Megan Mullally ('Party Down'), ESPN commentator Erin Andrews ('Dancing with the Stars') and 13-year-old National School Scrabble 2010 Winners Evan McCarthy and Bradley Robbins. (Photo by Michael Desmond/ABC via Getty Images) ERIN ANDREWS, JIMMY KIMMEL
***EXCLUSIVE*** DANCING WITH THE STARS THE RESULTS SHOW - 'Episode 1007A' - The sixth couple to be eliminated this season was sent home on 'Dancing with the Stars the Results Show,' TUESDAY, MAY 4 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET). (Photo by Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images) ERIN ANDREWS, EVAN LYSACEK
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 09: TV personality Erin Andrews arrives at the 2010 CMT Music Awards Arrivals at the Bridgestone Arena on June 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic) *** Local Caption ***
OMAHA, NE - JUNE 28: Television personality Erin Andrews on air before game 1 of the men's 2010 NCAA College Baseball World Series between the UCLA Bruins and the South Carolina Gamecocks at Rosenblatt Stadium on June 28, 2010 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - ESPN's Erin Andrews contributes reports to GOOD MORNING AMERICA, airing on the ABC Television Network. GM10 (Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images) ERIN ANDREWS
STILLWATER, OK- NOVEMBER 27: Sideline reporter Erin Andrews of ESPN interviews head coach Bob Stoops of the Oklahoma Sooners after a game with the Oklahoma State Cowboys on November 27, 2010 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (Photo by Jackson Laizure/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 05: ESPN reporter Erin Andrews attends the ESPN Winter 2011 TCA Panel at the Langham Hotel on January 5, 2011 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Mathew Imaging/WireImage)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 04: (L-R) Erin Andrews, Chase Crawford and Chrissy Teigen attend DIRECTV's Sixth Annual Celebrity Beach Bowl Game at Victory Field on February 4, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for DirecTV)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05: Sportcaster Erin Andrews attends the 138th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 20: TV personality Erin Andrews presents an award during the 2012 NHL Awards at the Encore Theater at the Wynn Las Vegas on June 20, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Episode 853 -- Pictured: Erin Andrews -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 10: Erin Andrews attends a NHL playoff game between the St. Louis Blues and the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on May 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Sportscaster Erin Andrews arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 18, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 24: Jarret Stoll #28 of the Los Angeles Kings skates with his girlfriend sportscaster Erin Andrews during the family skate after the team practice for the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Dodger Stadium on January 24, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
DANCING WITH THE STARS - Erin Andrews joins 'Dancing with the Stars' as host alongside Emmy-Award Winner(r) Tom Bergeron for its 18th season premiering MONDAY, MARCH 17 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET). No stranger to the ballroom, Andrews competed on the 10th season of 'Dancing with the Stars' making it all the way to the finals. Known for being a pioneer in sports broadcasting, Andrews's skills from the field are sure to be an asset in hosting a spirited dance competition. This season, the show also welcomes new Music Director and Composer Ray Chew to the ballroom. Continuing a tradition of live musical accompaniment, Chew's band will feature a new line-up of musicians and singers performing music ranging from the latest pop hits to the great standards of the past. (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 16: NHL player Jarrett Stoll (L) and sportscaster Erin Andrews attend The 2014 ESPYS at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images For ESPYS)
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2009' - Four remaining couples advanced to the SEMI-FINALS on 'Dancing with the Stars' this MONDAY, MAY 11 (8:00-10:01 p.m. ET). The competition was neck and neck as each couple fought to make it to the top 3 and dance in the finale. (Photo by Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images) SHARNA BURGESS, NOAH GALLOWAY, TOM BERGERON, ERIN ANDREWS
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 10: Host Erin Andrews attends the 2015 CMT Music awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 10, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 10: Erin Andrews (L) and Brittany Snow present onstage during the 2015 CMT Music awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 10, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 20: Sportscaster Erin Andrews looks on prior to game four of the American League Championship Series between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals at Rogers Centre on October 20, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16: TV personality Erin Andrews poses at 'Dancing with the Stars' season 25 at CBS Televison City on October 16, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2502A' - With the first elimination having taken place on Monday, the 12 remaining celebrities ready themselves for one of the hottest nights in the ballroom - Latin Night, on 'Dancing with the Stars,' live, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 (9:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. Each couple will perform a samba, rumba, cha cha, Paso Dobl� Argentine Tango or salsa, vying for America's vote. At the end of the night, the second elimination of the season will take place. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) TOM BERGERON, ERIN ANDREWS
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 12: Fox sideline announcer Erin Andrews gives a report before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 12, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30: TV personality Erin Andrews poses at 'Dancing with the Stars' season 25 at CBS Televison City on October 30, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
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Before being diagnosed, Andrews' knowledge on the disease was limited. "I didn't have any knowledge of cervical cancer. I knew I probably didn't want it," she explained. 

After two surgeries, Andrews was luckily cancer-free. But given the stats, not every woman is as lucky as Andrews -- and that's something she wants to change. “It’s not being talked about, at all," the almost 40-year-old said. 

"Every two hours a woman dies from cervical cancer. I had no idea about that stat until I partnered with Hologic,”  said Andrews. “I think it’s important for someone like myself and someone like Dr. Shepherd to be involved to get this information out because women don’t know that."

Echoed Dr. Shepherd, "When you look at that stat, of the 12,000 women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer, 4,000 die. So if we have the power to have the tools with the cervical cancer screenings, and the Pap tests and HPV…then we can decrease this statistic.” 

She explained that there are steps women can take to actually prevent the cancer:

"When we look at statistics for specifically cervical cancer, we really want women to, again, stop smoking. Also the age at which they start having sex is an important part of that, too. I think that goes with the dialogue of mothers to talk to their doctors about whether that means getting the [HPV] vaccine as early as they can."

RELATED: Faces who have battled cancer

17 PHOTOS
Well-known figures who have battled cancer
See Gallery
Well-known figures who have battled cancer

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter

(REUTERS/Neil Hall)

Television personality Robin Roberts

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Another basal cell carcinoma. Thanks to frequent checks & amazing doctors, all's well. Looks worse w the dressing o… https://t.co/cFIi0Zhmtr

Actress Shannen Doherty

(REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

Chef Sandra Lee

(Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)

Cyclist Lance Armstrong

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Actress Rita Wilson attends

(Photo by Tara Ziemba/Getty Images)

Former GMA anchor Joan Lunden

(Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)

TV host Sharon Osbourne

(REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian)

Journalist Tom Brokaw

(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Actress Christina Applegate

(Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)

Comedian Wanda Sykes

(Photo by Tara Ziemba/Getty Images)

TV personality Giuliana Rancic

(Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Michigan Avenue)

Musician Sheryl Crow

(Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

Musician Rod Stewart

(REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

Fox host and DWTS co-host Erin Andrews 

(Getty) 

Caitlyn Jenner
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“Access is maybe one of the reasons [as many women] don’t come in. But it’s covered in the well women visit. Insurance covers that. Even if you don’t have insurance, there are organizations that do Pap tests and HPV tests for no cost," said Dr. Shepherd. 

“We’re making sure women know that cervical cancer is preventable and treatable — and those are two things you don’t always see in cancers."

Back at work, Erin continues to advocate for cancer screening and educate women to make sure they know that cervical cancer isn't just treatable, but preventable as well.

But it's not all cancer-talk for Andrews, who regularly jokes around on-set of DWTS. "Tom [Bergeron] and I try really hard to lighten everybody up because they're so stressed. A lot of the times they're fighting," she said.

Another part that viewers don't see is the hidden microphones and near wardrobe malfunctions. "Everybody always asks 'well, where are the microphones?'," she explained. "Well, they're in the bras for the girls, or the guys, use your imagination."

She's normally hosting with "7 microphone packs" at once. "That's the worst part of the whole gig, them trying to figure out where to put the mics. Because your dress is already so tight ... and they weigh you down."

"We always have a different dress per show, and then we always have a backup in case something goes wrong. There are a lot of times where it's 5 minutes to show and it's like 'Holy crap, this just broke!'," she divulged.

For more information on early cancer detection, visit ChangeThisSTAT.com.

RELATED: Cancer throughout the US 

10 PHOTOS
States with the highest rates of cancer deaths in the US
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States with the highest rates of cancer deaths in the US

10. Missouri: 179.1 death rate

(Photo via Getty Images)

9. Indiana: 179.4 death rate

(Photo via Getty Images)

8. Alabama: 182.1 death rate

(Photo via Getty Images)

7. Oklahoma: 185.4 death rate

(Photo via Getty Images)

6. Tennessee: 185.4 death rate

(Photo via Getty Images)

5. Louisiana: 188.7 death rate

(Photo via Getty Images)

4. Arkansas: 189.6 death rate

(Photo via Getty Images)

3. West Virginia: 190.5 death rate

(Photo via Getty Images)

2. Mississippi: 196.5 death rate

(Photo via Getty Images)

1. Kentucky: 199.3 death rate

(Photo via Getty Images)

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