Food Network host Sandra Lee fought breast cancer several years ago, and underwent a double mastectomy as part of her treatment. And while she went through grueling treatments, cameras were rolling for every moment. The result is a new HBO documentary which doesn’t shy away from showing the toughest parts of dealing with the disease.

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Sandra Lee's HBO documentary about her cancer

HBO

Lee told People she found out she had cancer while leaving the set of her Food Network show, Semi-Homemade Cooking, in 2015. Two days after her diagnosis, a colleague suggested she film her cancer treatment for a documentary — and though she wasn’t sure at first, she decided showing the process, warts and all, could help others.

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“I went online, and I tried to look for what I was going to experience,” Lee told Westchester Magazine. “What does it mean for your family? What does it mean for you? What does the process look like, and what do you need to know? None of that existed the way I wanted to see it, so I decided to create it myself.”

Her documentary, RX: Early Detection, A Cancer Journey With Sandra Lee, airs on HBO Monday, October 8. It features nine months of footage, including video of her double mastectomy surgery and its aftermath, plus moments with her sister, Kimber Lee, and her partner, New York governor Andrew Cuomo.

Sandra Lee's HBO documentary about her cancer

Sandra Lee and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

HBO

In its review of the documentary, the New York Post notes it “forgoes any attempt to pretty up the proceedings,” providing a raw, and sometimes graphic, look at what cancer does to a person. And Lee says that’s on purpose. “It’s important for [viewers] to understand that you don’t have to be beautiful or perfect — which I come off as on TV all the time,” she told People. “It’s okay to be human. We’re all human. It’s most important that we help each other.”

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Sandra Lee's HBO documentary about her cancer

Sandra Lee with her sister, Kimber.

HBO

Lee has been cancer-free since 2015, and credits early detection for saving her life. She hopes the documentary encourages others to put their health first. “Early detection is key,” she told Parade. “I was diagnosed very early, and in less than six weeks it had spread. That’s how fast it can move.”

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/a23614148/sandra-lee-breast-cancer-documentary/

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