Former "Good Morning America" co-host Joan Lunden, who revealed in June she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, has posed for a magazine cover without the wig many cancer-sufferers use to mask the hair loss associated with chemotherapy.
"I had to make this big decision about whether or not to do the cover with no hair," Lunden, who is 64 according to ABC News, told People magazine of her cover shoot for the issue on sale Friday. "It certainly isn't the comfortable way to go, but I decided I was going to try and help others and show women that this isn't the end of the world," she said. "You can go on -- and that was hugely empowering."
The mother of seven had received inspiration and advice from current "GMA" co-host Robin Roberts, who had survived breast cancer in 2008. "Robin told me waiting for your hair to fall out is excruciating," Lunden said. "So I didn't want to wait . . . You know it's going to happen one of these days and you are wondering how and when, so I just owned it" after the first chemo treatment.
"When you lose your hair, it just affects the way that you look at yourself in the mirror," Lunden said. "You feel less feminine, pretty or desirable, and it's not an easy thing to go through."
Meanwhile, Lunden will also contribute to NBC's "Today" show as a special correspondent during October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as part of a series on the disease, the show announced Wednesday.