Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Project Runway judge Nina Garcia says she will have a double mastectomy.
The 53-year-old television personality and Elle editor-in-chief said in an essay on the Elle website Thursday that she will undergo the preventative surgery due to her high risk of breast cancer.
"As an editor, I'm used to expressing myself in words, but now I'm having a difficult time finding the right things to say," she wrote. "I've been confronting my emotions and keep asking myself the same few questions. Am I scared? Yes. Am I relieved? Yes. Am I making the right choice? Absolutely."
Garcia had genetic testing done in 2015 and learned she has a mutation of the BARD1 gene, which increases her risk of breast cancer. She has closely monitored her health since the discovery, but decided in January to have an elective double mastectomy as a preventative measure.
"Throughout this time, I've had numerous biopsies, two lumpectomies, and countless follow-ups," the star said of the three-plus years since her genetic test.
"I was living in a loop of testing, every day waking up thinking: Is today the day I will get cancer? I no longer wanted to have these scary thoughts, and I knew the only way the would stop was to schedule the surgery," she explained. "The answer was clear."
Garcia said she was surprised to experience lonely and overwhelming days following her decision to have the surgery. She found strength by connecting with other women who have had mastectomies.
"So here I am. Still scared," the star wrote. "But I am so deeply grateful. I'm grateful that science and make early detection possible ... I'm grateful for my wonderful team of doctors ... I'm grateful for the sisterhood of women who have been so open and supportive. I'm grateful for my boys, my husband and my amazing family. And I'm grateful for my dear friends, colleagues, and team at Elle."