"I used to obsess over image. I'm the world's first supermodel. I've been in front of cameras. I will never keep quiet when something is bothering me. I'm a fighter," she told "The Doctors," airing Wednesday.
"I'm not the type of woman to fall apart but it's nothing to downplay."
The former supermodel, 61, went public with her breast cancer diagnosis last week.
"I haven't been feeling myself for the past several months. I knew something was wrong," she said in the 3-minute clip from "The Doctors."
"My internist gave me the initial breast examination. She felt something. She said 'Something here doesn't feel right.' She felt a lump," Dickinson recalled. "I have been very regular with mammograms. After comprehensive tests from four specialists, the doctor said point blank, 'You are positive for cancer.'"
The former America's Next Top Model judge took the news especially hard, having lost her mother to cancer.
"It's shocking. Everything hit me at once. My mother died of cancer, so I know how bad I felt when I heard about my mother," Dickinson said. "My son broke down. Honestly I haven't cried in about 30 years, and just lately I'm tearful because I felt fear for the first time. And I don't get scared. I kind of lost it."
At the same time, she's excited about the future despite the battle ahead.
"I want to see my daughter walk down the aisle and I want grandchildren, and I want to get married with Rocky, my fiancé, who's a doctor," she said.
She also had a message for other women battling breast cancer: "Please sisters have regular breast examinations. I can be emotional and happy and sad and afraid but I’m not alone. I now await surgery."