Jill Biden shares why women shouldn’t postpone breast cancer screenings

The first lady sat down for an interview with “Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts about breast cancer prevention and why the message matters so much to her.
7:17 | 10/21/21

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Transcript for Jill Biden shares why women shouldn’t postpone breast cancer screenings
bullying of lgbtq plus youth. "Gma" cover story, robin you had a chance to sit down with the first lady. I did. She's on a mission for breast cancer awareness month, to encourage women to make a potentially life-saving appointment, now during the pandemic, millions, millions have been missing all types of screenings, we spoke about her personal connection to this mission as well as her dedication to being an educator as she has embraced for decades. Dr. Biden is devoted to using the power of education to deliver her message. I know how much it means to you, the three initiatives that you're so passionate about the military. Yes. Education. Cancer awareness. Here you are, first lady, education is still so important to you for you to be there at northern Virginia community college. That's right, that's right. How are you able to balance all of that? I just wanted to continue teaching and I thought, why not? I'm there two days a week, I teach writing and the other day I'm in the white house office, it just works. To be at a community college I don't have to tell you that some people are concerned with the social spending bill that free tuition at community college may have to be taken out of the bill, for families hoping for that, what would you say to them. We're not giving up. We're not giving up. This is round one. This is year one, I'm going to keep going. Reporter: Also at the top of Dr. Biden's agenda as first lady, breast cancer awareness. Get your mammogram, it might save your life. Reporter: Now pushing for more women to get screened. You're saying there's nothing more important on your to-do list. Call your doc and get in there and get your screenings. If you get that mammogram and they catch it early you have a fighting chance. For the folks who say, Dr. Biden, I'm too busy. I'm busy, too, as soon as I got to office off I was getting my mammogram. There's nothing more important than your health. Reporter: This is personal for the first lady who's been advocating for breast cancer awareness. I had four friends diagnosed, unfortunately we lost one of those friends. I was so upset. I know education, you know, inside and out, so let's start to educate people. Here at the montefiore Einstein cancer center, working to prioritize breast cancer screenings. As mammograms dropped 80% throughout the pandemic. Covid cancer screening research, what is your research showing 41,000 patients getting mammograms every year and with the pandemic, that dropped to almost 31,000, that's disheartening and we want people to get their cancer detected early so we have more treatment options. Reporter: 52-year-old Sandra crews was hesitant last year, her doctor urged her to get screened this past April, that's when she learned of her stage 1 breast cancer diagnosis. Radiation is going to begin shortly. Yes. What did you find out recently. No chemotherapy. I was a woman who had the fear of coming in and getting screened. The fear of catching covid. So I was one of those individuals that waited until things calmed down. Now that we've moved on a little bit and people are vaccinated, we have to make sure that we have to get the message out. I believe your first trip as first lady was to Richmond, Virginia, where you spoke about cancer, you talked about health care and inequities, what can be done to help level the playing field? It's the responsibility of the federal government to make sure that we have access that all communities have access. Communities where there's less access to health care, we have barriers to overcome in terms of getting that population and for cancer screening. When you add a pandemic on to that those disparities only grow further. Looking into more diversity in clinical trials, talk about why that's important. Until we get more representation on those clinical trials we're not adequately assessing that patient population. You have said going into next year, cancer efficacy things and issues that you want to work in dealing with this. Can you be specific? I'm a member of a family who has just like actually most American families who have dealt with someone in their family with cancer, I know what it's like to sit in that chemotherapy room with your loved one, holding his or her hand helping them to get through it, and it's important. What would you want people to think about you as first lady. She saw us and she helped us heal as a nation. Like all families, her family very much impacted. Her parents, cancer. Her sister. Beau. Her friends in 1993 diagnosed all at the same time. We have friends and there's this virtually nobody who hasn't been impacted with some form of cancer and breast cancer happens in men as well. Nine months in, down to Earth. Very approachable. She was late. Which is fine. It happens. Just the way she carries herself and when she was talking about em case and I put it to her about the social spending package and community college, lot of folks were planning on it being free, here she is a teacher, a professor at a community college in northern Virginia, but didn't shy away from speaking about anything and really feels, okay, this is round one, year one, of the administration. There's time. I want people to know and first of all, I hope that the woman we interviewed Sandra, the patient, we're wishing all the best, if you need help of getting any type of screening when it comes to cancer, call the cancer information service, 1-800-4-cancer. Thank you, robin. I liked when she said, I'm busy, too. Thank you so much. We move on to our series, "Gma" supply solutions.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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