Known as the world's first supermodel, the former America's Next Top Modeljudge has been diagnosed with early stage ductal carcinoma in situ, a common form of breast cancer that begins in the milk ducts, the Daily Mailreported.
"It's still quite shocking... I just get very scared and it hit me. But I am not gonna let that define me, the fear. I'm going to get through this, I'll be just fine kiddo," said Dickinson, 61.
"I have a history of being an alpha-female, very strong. I've lost both parents, my mother died of cancer... I'm Janice Dickinson and I'm gonna stick around for a long, long time, you ain't getting rid of me yet."
Dickinson reportedly visited a doctor for minor stomach trouble on March 8. During the routine medical exam, a pea-sized lump was found in her right breast.
"The doctor noticed it immediately. She said, 'This doesn't feel right.' And she said, 'We have to be real comprehensive with this and have it checked out,'" Dickinson revealed. "I'm always optimistic, initially when the doctor found the lump it hurt, it became quite painful when you touch it, that's the point when I knew this is serious."
An urgent mammogram and biopsy ultimately led to Dickinson's cancer diagnosis on March 12.
"I became fearful for my two children, my loving fiance [Dr. Robert 'Rocky' Gerner], we have a grandson, aged four, his name is baby Aby. I just thought they are gonna flip out," Dickinson told the Daily Mail.
Dickinson received the bad news she was tested positive for cancer over the phone when she was out shopping with her daughter Savi, 22.
"I just was really glad that my daughter Savannah, she likes to be called Savi, I was really glad Savi was with me at that moment because it was kind of an out of body experience," she explained.
"At that moment, I knew I had to be brave and I had to be strong. I had to find the courage I possess as a woman, that we all have as women and then I had to put my chin up and my shoulders back and take it moment by moment."
Dickinson maintained her composure until she got home and burst into tears in Rocky's arms. He intends to stay by her side through it all and marry her this summer.
Dickinson felt like she entered a "nightmarish dream" after learning of her diagnosis -- even though she's already battled anorexia, bulimia and alcoholism in her past.
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"I went into a world of fantasy, kind of a world of process. I kept saying to myself, 'You're just processing this,'" Dickinson explained.
Doctors have reportedly ruled out a mastectomy at this stage, which came as a "huge relief" to the mother of two. She's now embarking on "daily visits" to UCLA, where she's undergone a series of blood tests, specialized mammograms and an electrocardiogram.
Dickinson, who also starred in The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, will have surgery soon to remove the one-inch area of tissue around the lump in her breast followed by radiation therapy and then a course of medication she'll probably have to take for the rest of her life, according to the Daily Mail.
Dickinson's cancer journey will be documented on the daytime series The Doctors, with her first of many appearances being on April 6. She plans to raise awareness for women, especially when it comes to having regular breast examinations just to be safe.
Dickinson served as a judge on Top Model's first four editions before she was replace by Twiggy for Season 5. The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency then premiered in 2006 and ran for four seasons. She's also appeared on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew's fourth season and The Surreal Life. About The Author:Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.