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Oprah Winfrey's Breast Cancer Scare: TV Legend Reveals Close Call

Winfrey opened up about her medical scare at a conference with 5,000 attendees.

By Staff Reporter, EnStars on Nov 26, 2012 02:59 PM EST
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Oprah Winfrey speaks during the Oprah Winfrey Network session at the 2011 Summer TV Critics Association Cable Press Tour in Beverly Hills. (Photo : Reuters)

Television legend Oprah Winfrey had a close call recently when she thought she would be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Winfrey never made a public comment about the medical scare, but she shared the experience before an audience of 5,000 at the 2012 O You! Conference in Los Angeles. A New York Times reporter was present and documented the confession in a story about Winfrey's struggle to gain a younger fan base and keep her work fresh.

The story also revealed that Oprah's chatter about the scare to the O You! audience was the first time she had spoken about the incident to her longtime best friend Gayle King.

"Ms. Winfrey, 58, has shown some signs of strain," the Times reported. "She arrived at the conference with faint shadows under her eyes and announced to her best friend, Gayle King, and the audience simultaneously that she had a breast cancer scare the week before. (It was ultimately a false alarm.) When Ms. King grew visibly upset, one woman chided Ms. Winfrey for not telling her friend ahead of time and ordered her to apologize to Ms. King - all before an audience."

Winfrey also spoke with The New York Times about O, The Oprah Magazine and the Oprah Winfrey Network. Her magazine, which was seen as one of the biggest success stories in print media in recent years upon its launch, has suffered slightly since the iconic "Oprah Winfrey Show" went off the air in May 2011.

But Winfrey said that she doesn't let news like that set her back, and she takes pride in the fact that her television channel OWN has seen consistent ratings growth in recent months. The most important thing to her, she said, is that people get what she puts out there, no matter how they receive it.

"I don't care what the form is," she said. "I care about what the message is."

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