Joan Lunden isn't backing down from breast cancer.
Credit: People

Joan Lunden isn't backing down from breast cancer. In fact, she's bravely baring it all with her bald and beautiful cover and accompanying interview in People magazine.

The beloved former Good Morning America co-host announced her diagnosis of stage 2 triple-negative breast cancer during a sit-down with Robin Roberts earlier this summer.

It was Roberts (herself a two-time cancer survivor) who inspired Lunden to take the plunge and shave her head. "Robin Roberts told me waiting for your hair to fall out is excruciating. I didn't want to wait," Lunden told People.

The decision to appear bald on the cover of a national magazine was a little bit harder, she admits: "I had to make this big decision about whether or not to do the cover with no hair. It certainly isn't the comfortable way to go, but I decided I was going to try and help others and show women that this isn't the end of the world," Lunden says. "You can go on – and that was hugely empowering."

In the interview, which hits newsstands on Oct. 6, Lunden discusses something familiar to anyone who's dealt with a cancer crisis: making agonizing treatment decisions.

"You go to three oncologists, and they all tell you to treat it in a different way. That's a really scary position to be put in. It can paralyze someone," she told the mag.

To find out what she decided to do, how her family (including second husband Jeff Konigberg and seven children) is coping and what's keeping her inspired, hit the newsstand for the full story and follow Lunden along on her blog.