Maura Tierney Finally Opens Up About Her Battle With Cancer: ‘I Was So Lucky’

Maura Tierney starred in the hit medical drama “ER” for nearly a decade. Now, the Emmy-nominated actress is breaking her silence about her personal medical drama – her recent battle against breast cancer.

“I was so, so scared of going to the doctor,” Maura told Parade of the day she first discovered the lump. “I felt something, and my boyfriend at the time made me go. He said, ‘You’ve got to take care of this,’ because I was afraid. That’s one thing I will say: Don’t be afraid to go to the damn doctor. Just go!”

Though the June 2009 diagnosis forced Maura to drop out of NBC’s now hit show “Parenthood” (Maura played Lauren Graham’s character in the original pilot), the 45-year-old actress said she never wallowed in self-pity, but instead felt grateful that she had the resources to seek excellent treatment.

“I was so lucky,” she told the mag. “I had insurance, I found a great team of doctors at UCLA, and I could afford not to work while I was getting treated.”

The courageous small-screen darling was also “lucky” to have reaped the benefits of years of prior research. After her final pathology report, her doctor discovered the cancer was a more aggressive form than originally diagnosed — a dangerous find that would have been missed as recently as ten years ago.

“[My doctor] said they would have patted me on the head and told me. ‘You’re cured,’” she said. “And I would have died of breast cancer.”

Maura can next be seen in ABC’s new legal drama, “The Whole Truth,” which premieres at 10 PM on September 22.

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