Actress Cynthia Nixon was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and underwent radiation treatment to treat the disease, the Sex and the City star revealed on Tuesday, appearing on Good Morning America.

42-year-old Nixon said she was not surprised by the diagnosis because her mother had battled breast cancer as well.

Nixon, who played fiery redhead Miranda Hobbes on Sex and the City, found out she had cancer a year and a half ago while she was performing on Broadway in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

The cancer was discovered when she went to her doctor for a routine mammogram.

Although she was scared, Nixon knows she was lucky the cancer was caught early.

“I was very cognizant of if it’s going to happen, this is the best way for it to happen, that it’s found so early and we can just get right on it,” Nixon said on Good Morning America.

After undergoing surgery to have the cancerous cells removed, Nixon went through six and a half weeks of radiation treatment.

She did not let the diagnosis or treatments interfere with her day to day life, however. She managed to work her treatment around her performances so that she did not miss a single show.

Her practical and calm management of her battle with breast cancer helped Nixon get through conquering the disease. Her family and friends, however, had a more difficult time dealing with the health scare.

“My girlfriend was very scared,” Nixon said of her partner of four years, Christine Marinoni. “She was in a panic. She was just trying to calm herself down any way she could.”

Friend and Sex and the City co-star Kristin Davis was also frightened by the news, refusing to calm down unless Nixon assured her she would be okay.

The actress was also open about her diagnosis with her two children.

Nixon and her partner Marinoni “made a big point” of telling the children exactly what was going on. “[I told them] ‘It’s very small and it’s very early. I’m going to have an operation, they’re going to take it out, and then we’re going to have six and a half weeks of radiation, every weekday. This is what grandma went through, and I’m going to be fine.”

Nixon decided to keep her fight with the potentially deadly disease private, saying that she “didn’t want paparazzi at the hospital, that kind of thing.”

Now, however, Nixon is taking her private battle into the public realm to help other women who are struggling with breast cancer.

Nixon has been named the new public face of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, the world’s largest breast cancer advocacy organisation. As part of her role as spokesperson, Nixon will appear in public service announcements on TV and radio for the foundation.

“As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, knowing my personal risk made me more aware and more empowered when I faced my own diagnosis,” the actress said in a press statement. “I want to help Susan G. Komen for the Cure educate the 1.1 million women around the globe who face a diagnosis each year.”

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