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Sandra Lee flaunts her figure in see-through ‘F-U-cancer’ gown after hysterectomy

Cancer survivor Sandra Lee is back on the red carpet just four weeks after undergoing a hysterectomy — and she’s flicking a fashionable middle finger to cancer in the process.

On Sunday night, the 55-year-old attended the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s 30th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party in a stunning floral gown custom-made by Ukrainian designer Anait Mkrtchian.

The dress — which she calls ‘my couture F-U-cancer gown,’ according to People — left little to the imagination, celebrating her body less than a month out from major surgery and seven years after a double mastectomy she had while battling breast cancer. 

Cancer survivor Sandra Lee is back on the red carpet four weeks after undergoing a hysterectomy

Cancer survivor Sandra Lee is back on the red carpet four weeks after undergoing a hysterectomy

On Sunday, she attended the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 30th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party in a stunning floral gown custom-made by Ukranian designer Anait Mkrtchian

On Sunday, she attended the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s 30th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party in a stunning floral gown custom-made by Ukranian designer Anait Mkrtchian

The dress - which she calls 'my couture F-U-cancer gown' - left little to the imagination, celebrating her body less than a month out from major surgery

The dress – which she calls ‘my couture F-U-cancer gown’ – left little to the imagination, celebrating her body less than a month out from major surgery

Lee certainly made multiple statements with the dress, including showing her support for Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion.

The stunning sheer gown featured long sleeves, floral embroidery, and sequins — and put her body on full display.

The former Food Network star opted to wear the see-through dress with no lining, bra, or slip, with only nude underwear underneath.

She accessorized with a white bag with a pearl strap and matching pearl earrings, and was accompanied by her fiancé, Ben Youcef.

Lee appears to be doing quite well just four weeks after undergoing major surgery to have her uterus removed, a follow-up to her 2015 double mastectomy that was made more pressingly necessary due to a change in some cells.

‘Several years ago I was supposed to have quite an intense surgery,’ she wrote on Instagram on March 1. ‘It was a follow up to my breast cancer surgery, but I had repeatedly put it off and then COVID hit. 

She accessorized with a white bag with a pearl strap and matching pearl earrings, and was accompanied by her fiancé Ben Youcef

She accessorized with a white bag with a pearl strap and matching pearl earrings, and was accompanied by her fiancé Ben Youcef

The stunning sheer gown featured long sleeves, floral embroidery, and sequins — and put her body on full display

The stunning sheer gown featured long sleeves, floral embroidery, and sequins — and put her body on full display

The former Food Network star opted to wear the see-through dress with no lining, bra, or slip, with only nude underwear underneath

The former Food Network star opted to wear the see-through dress with no lining, bra, or slip, with only nude underwear underneath

‘Fast forward to now, during a routine appointment with my gynecologist, she noticed a change in some of my cells. I went for a second and third opinion and they all confirmed the same.

‘A change in the cells covering the cervix, the lower part of the womb, can lead to an abnormal cervical screening test result. 

‘These change are not cancer,’ according to Cancer Research UK. ‘The cells often go back to normal by themselves. But in some women, if not treated, these changes could develop into cancer in the future.’

Lee said she immediately thought of a conversation she had with a friend who told her years ago that she could consider getting a complete hysterectomy.   

‘But after all of the issues I had experienced with my breast cancer surgery, the last thing I wanted to do was have another major operation — so I didn’t!’ she shared. 

‘Over the last few years I have watched and admired the grace of other women who went public with their own health decision while I sat on the sidelines in awe and with a bit of fear. Brave women, like my friend’s mother who sadly had lost her battle with breast cancer after it had spread to her ovaries.’ 

Four weeks ago, she underwent a hysterectomy, after a gynecologist noticed a 'noticed a change in some of my cells'

Four weeks ago, she underwent a hysterectomy, after a gynecologist noticed a ‘noticed a change in some of my cells’

She said that day three after surgery was rough: 'I was so sick, I threw up and cried, threw up and cried'

She said that day three after surgery was rough: ‘I was so sick, I threw up and cried, threw up and cried’ 

WHAT IS A HYSTERECTOMY?

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a woman’s uterus.

There are three kinds:

  • PARTIAL HYSTERECTOMY: Removes two-thirds of the uterus. 
  • TOTAL HYSTERECTOMY: Removes uterus and cervix.
  • RADICAL HYSTERECTOMY: Removes uterus, cervix and ovaries.

The operation is most commonly performed on women between the ages of 40 and 49.

More than 20 million American women have had a hysterectomy, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As women approach menopause, the odds that they will develop one of several serious uterine health conditions increases. Doctors may recommend a hysterectomy as a treatment for:

  • fibroids 
  • endometriosis 
  • uterine (endometrial) cancer 
  • chronic uterine pain or bleeding 
  • collapsed uterus

In some cases, doctors may suggest a hysterectomy as a preventative measure if a woman has significant warning or early signs of developing one or more of these conditions.

When necessary, surgeons may also remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes, if these have also been damaged or are at serious risk of damage.

The removal of reproductive organs sends a woman’s body into menopause, no matter how old she is.

This comes with unpleasant side effects like hot flashes, and many women have to start hormone therapy, taking estrogen to balance out their own hormones.  

Sources told Page Six that reading about Amy Schumer and Angelina Jolie’s medical issues gave Lee the strength to move forward with the surgery.

Schumer, 40, had a hysterectomy and an appendectomy last year to treat endometriosis, a painful uterine condition. 

Meanwhile, Jolie, 46, underwent a double mastectomy in 2013 after she tested positive for the BRCA1 gene, which dramatically increased her risk of cancer. Two years later, she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed. 

Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died in 2007 at age 56 after a nearly eight-year battle with ovarian and breast cancer. 

‘I admit, I am a little embarrassed that I hadn’t had the courage to get this final stage done until now,’ Lee wrote in her candid post. ‘So while you’re reading this post I am undergoing hysterectomy surgery. A surgery that so many brave women before me have had to do. 

‘It’ll be an everything out procedure and after that, there won’t be any more halo of worry hanging over my head. My sweet Ben is with me and will be taking a little time off work to stay home.’

Lee noted that she is grateful for everyone’s support, saying her ‘friends and family have been incredible.’  

‘I am filled with all sorts of emotions. I am scared but also happy to be getting this done — strength and courage!’ she said ‘We must always remember to have strength and courage.’ 

‘Hopefully this will encourage anyone who needs to get a concerning procedure done to take the opportunity now so you can live as happy and healthy as possible,’ she concluded her post. ‘We must all live our best lives every day and in every way. 

‘With that I send you all the love in the world, your well wishes and prayers are appreciated more than you know.’

Two days later, she updated Instagram followers, writing: ‘Hello everyone, just quick note to sincerely say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for the outpouring of love and well wishes.’

‘It makes me so happy to read your notes… Regarding the surgery — honestly it was a bit rough, but I am resting (hard for me you know I like to work), I am sleeping a lot and I have set my alarm to stay ahead of the pain relief medication, Lordy this is painful I have to say.’

Lee went on to thank her loved ones, including her fiancé, Ben Youcef, who was by her side when she had the surgery.  

Her fiancé, Ben Youcef, was by her side taking care of her as she recovered

Her fiancé, Ben Youcef, was by her side taking care of her as she recovered

‘Although I have a long road of recovery ahead I am grateful that this is the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, and I am so thankful to be writing this today and to my family, friends, sweet Ben and ALL OF YOU for the wonderful support,’ she concluded her post. ‘Thank you so so much — with lots of love and appreciation!!’

Along with her message, she shared a selfie that shows her resting in bed wearing a striped nightgown. 

The Food Network star also thanked her fans and loved ones for their support

The Food Network star also thanked her fans and loved ones for their support

The following day, she shared another update, sharing a candid snap from the hospital. 

‘Surgery is never fun but the third day for me is always the worst day for me,’ she admitted. 

‘Yesterday (my 3 day) was quite aggressive. All I can remember is I threw up all day— I was so sick, I threw up and cried, threw up and cried. Awful. 

‘Poor Ben didn’t know what to do — rubbing my back, holding my hair back when I was bent over the sink, trying to get me to drink or eat or anything. Was not an easy day for either of us.  

‘So by 5 I was on my way to the hospital —of course. The head of ER (who I love) said I had some kind of infection and my kidneys were only working at 30% (from being overly dehydrated I guess).’

'Surgeries are so brutal but I’m still glad I did it. Once they got the IV in, wonderful anti-nausea meds I felt much better,' she said

‘Surgeries are so brutal but I’m still glad I did it. Once they got the IV in, wonderful anti-nausea meds I felt much better,’ she said

She continued: ‘Surgeries are so brutal but I’m still glad I did it. Once they got the IV in, wonderful anti-nausea meds I felt much better. 

‘Ben stayed with me as long as he could, he was so patient,’ she went on, adding that they kept her mind busy by researching villages they might travel to this summer. 

Lee’s ex, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, was by her side when she was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy in 2015. 

She praised him for being incredibly supportive during her cancer battle and subsequent reconstructive surgeries. 

Lee developed an infection from her double mastectomy and was rushed to the hospital in August 215. 

‘I did my very best to avoid this (when I tell you I did everything, I mean everything – modern, Eastern and holistic) but infection is an incredible monster,’ she wrote in a Facebook message to fans at the time.  

Lee, pictured with her ex, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2012, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015

Lee, pictured with her ex, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2012, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015  

Cuomo was by her side when she underwent a double mastectomy in 2015 and started reconstructive surgery a year later

Cuomo was by her side when she underwent a double mastectomy in 2015 and started reconstructive surgery a year later 

‘I am a long way from where I was and a long way from where I need to be, but at this point I understand that right now I just need to complete this unexpected phase of a tough journey.’  

Lee started her reconstructive surgeries in 2016, and it took four years for them to be completed due to complications.

‘It’s a really intense thing, having that operation,’ she told People in June 2016. ‘Being put out, it’s lights out. You go, “Oh God, please sweet Lord, take care of me while I’m here.”‘  

Lee — who was dubbed ‘First Girlfriend’ while she was with Cuomo — kept a low profile during most of his first two terms as governor, but she emerged as an advocate for cancer screening after her own diagnosis.

‘Early diagnosis just gives you the opportunity to be the most aggressive that you can be,’ she told People in 2018. ‘It’s the best treatment.’ 

Lee also opened up about her cancer diagnosis in the 2018 HBO documentary ‘RX: Early Detection, A Cancer Journey with Sandra Lee.’

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