Health & Wellness

Breast Cancer Thriver Joan Lunden Takes College Professor Post

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Professor Joan Lunden

  • Joan Lunden, 70, is teaching a course entitled “Population Health and the Media” at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania this semester as the scholar in residence.
  • Lunden, the former Good Morning America anchor and stage 2 triple-negative breast cancer survivor, will welcome esteemed guests into the class each week to speak.
  • The mother-of-seven has become a vocal advocate for screening and early detection ever since she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014.

Joan Lunden, 70, is combining her knowledge of media and health in her new role as a college professor.

The former Good Morning America anchor and stage 2 triple-negative breast cancer survivor has accepted a position as the scholar in residence at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

She is kicking things off by teaching a course entitled Population Health and the Media.

Related: Heartbroken Teyana Taylor Breaks Down in Tears Worrying About Her Kids Ahead of Emergency Breast Cancer Biopsy; Dense Breast Screenings

Professor Joan Lunden

Each class will have a different focus, with some of the topics including Building Trust in Media, Science, and Democracy with Charlie Dent of the Aspen Institute, Tracking Health to Forecast and Prepare for Pandemics, and Racial Disparities in Access to Healthcare.

Lunden will spend part of each class interviewing a distinguished speaker in the field being taught, and has assembled an impressive line-up that includes Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Dr. Julie Gerberding, renowned virologist Dr. Paul Offitt, Dent, and radio host Michael Smerconish.

Lunden, a mother of seven who is often working just as many jobs, shared her excitement about her new role in a Facebook post following her first class this week.

“Teaching at a university has always been on my bucket list. So when this opportunity came about – at this point in my life – I was not about to turn it down,” wrote Lunden.

“I designed a unique course for the school’s College of Health called ‘Population Health and the Media’ where I interview experts in these fields during each class.”

She then added: “It’s a new exciting chapter in my life — I was slightly nervous knowing my audience is made up of 18 to 21yr olds. But I’m happy to say my first class went great. I’ll keep you posted.”

Lunden also included a look at the empty classroom before her students arrived on Monday.

Lunden’s Breast Cancer Journey

Lunden was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2014 — and has used the experience to educate and advocate for other women who have faced the disease.

In a previous interview with SurvivorNet, Lunden confessed that she knew little about breast cancer before she was diagnosed with the disease.

“Candidly, I never thought I would be one of the women who would get breast cancer,” the always frank Lunden explained at the time.

“The fact that I didn’t understand the significance of dense breast tissue kind of just lit a fire in me and sent me on this mission to say, ‘Here I am a journalist, and how could I have been so uneducated about something so incredibly important.’”

Most people with dense breasts are completely unaware of the fact. That is because it is something that happens in women of all shapes and sizes and races, and can’t be detected by touching the breasts.

It is important to know that dense breasts make it more difficult to detect cancer on a regular mammogram. Because of this, some doctors suggest seeking out a facility that offers 3D mammograms. That’s definitely something worth discussing with a doctor.

Lunden also advocates for the rights of cancer patients, and has a special section on her website dedicated to sharing what she’s learned from her own experience with the disease. Her passion for health and wellbeing as well as advocating for women’s issues has changed as she’s been through challenges in her life, Lunden says, but it’s never faltered.

“I probably ended up where I needed to be,” Lunden says. “Those are the things, when you fight a life-changing battle, that you contemplate — and maybe you would never have contemplated them otherwise. So, when you contemplate those things it sure does focus you on what you want to do with the rest of your life.”

Learn more about SurvivorNet’s rigorous medical review process.


Chris is a senior reporter at SurvivorNet. Read More

Professor Joan Lunden

  • Joan Lunden, 70, is teaching a course entitled “Population Health and the Media” at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania this semester as the scholar in residence.
  • Lunden, the former Good Morning America anchor and stage 2 triple-negative breast cancer survivor, will welcome esteemed guests into the class each week to speak.
  • The mother-of-seven has become a vocal advocate for screening and early detection ever since she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014.

Joan Lunden, 70, is combining her knowledge of media and health in her new role as a college professor.

The former Good Morning America anchor and stage 2 triple-negative breast cancer survivor has accepted a position as the scholar in residence at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

Read More

She is kicking things off by teaching a course entitled Population Health and the Media.

Related: Heartbroken Teyana Taylor Breaks Down in Tears Worrying About Her Kids Ahead of Emergency Breast Cancer Biopsy; Dense Breast Screenings

Professor Joan Lunden

Each class will have a different focus, with some of the topics including Building Trust in Media, Science, and Democracy with Charlie Dent of the Aspen Institute, Tracking Health to Forecast and Prepare for Pandemics, and Racial Disparities in Access to Healthcare.

Lunden will spend part of each class interviewing a distinguished speaker in the field being taught, and has assembled an impressive line-up that includes Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Dr. Julie Gerberding, renowned virologist Dr. Paul Offitt, Dent, and radio host Michael Smerconish.

Lunden, a mother of seven who is often working just as many jobs, shared her excitement about her new role in a Facebook post following her first class this week.

“Teaching at a university has always been on my bucket list. So when this opportunity came about – at this point in my life – I was not about to turn it down,” wrote Lunden.

“I designed a unique course for the school’s College of Health called ‘Population Health and the Media’ where I interview experts in these fields during each class.”

She then added: “It’s a new exciting chapter in my life — I was slightly nervous knowing my audience is made up of 18 to 21yr olds. But I’m happy to say my first class went great. I’ll keep you posted.”

Lunden also included a look at the empty classroom before her students arrived on Monday.

Lunden’s Breast Cancer Journey

Lunden was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2014 — and has used the experience to educate and advocate for other women who have faced the disease.

In a previous interview with SurvivorNet, Lunden confessed that she knew little about breast cancer before she was diagnosed with the disease.

“Candidly, I never thought I would be one of the women who would get breast cancer,” the always frank Lunden explained at the time.

“The fact that I didn’t understand the significance of dense breast tissue kind of just lit a fire in me and sent me on this mission to say, ‘Here I am a journalist, and how could I have been so uneducated about something so incredibly important.’”

Most people with dense breasts are completely unaware of the fact. That is because it is something that happens in women of all shapes and sizes and races, and can’t be detected by touching the breasts.

It is important to know that dense breasts make it more difficult to detect cancer on a regular mammogram. Because of this, some doctors suggest seeking out a facility that offers 3D mammograms. That’s definitely something worth discussing with a doctor.

Lunden also advocates for the rights of cancer patients, and has a special section on her website dedicated to sharing what she’s learned from her own experience with the disease. Her passion for health and wellbeing as well as advocating for women’s issues has changed as she’s been through challenges in her life, Lunden says, but it’s never faltered.

“I probably ended up where I needed to be,” Lunden says. “Those are the things, when you fight a…

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