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Thread: Miss America contestant choosing to undergo preventative double mastectomy

  1. #1
    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Default Miss America contestant choosing to undergo preventative double mastectomy

    Miss America Contestant, 24, to Undergo Preventative Double Mastectomy

    By Dahvi Shira

    11/16/2012 at 07:30 AM EST


    Allyn Rose
    Brad Lovell Photography
    Allyn Rose is more than just another pretty face.

    The Miss America contestant, who will represent Washington, D.C., in the Jan. 12 pageant live on ABC, lost her mom to breast cancer at age 16. Now, at only 24 years old, Rose has decided she will undergo a double mastectomy as a preventative measure after learning she is a carrier of the same rare chromosomal disease that her mother had.

    "The idea that I could wake up one day and not have the same body that I did the day before is very scary," Rose, a self-proclaimed former tomboy, tells PEOPLE. "But I also realize my mom was diagnosed at 27. That's three years away from me. I'm not going to let my fear of losing this part of my femininity stop me from living."

    Of the disease, Rose explains, "It manifests in male children, but there have been studies that women who are the carriers of it have almost a 75 percent likely chance of contracting breast cancer. It's a very strange change in our genetic code. Almost all of the women in my family have passed away from it."

    Thinking back to completing teenage milestones that she couldn't share with her mom, Rose wants to take all the necessary precautions to ensure that these experiences are ones her own children will be able to share with her.

    "My mom had her right breast removed at 27, but at 47 or 48, it came back in her left breast," she says. "It was already stage three. She could have had that other breast removed, but I'm sure there was a part of her that thought she didn't want to give up this other part of herself."

    She adds, "My dad said he begged her for years and years to get it removed, but she said no. It's ultimately the thing that killed her. I had to become my own mentor. I had to go pick out my prom dress by myself. I had to go to my high school graduation without my mom. She didn't see me go off to college or go on my first date or drive a car for the first time."

    But after the "very difficult" experience of losing someone she calls "incredible," Rose will make a huge sacrifice to ensure her own life will last.

    "It's a very scary proposition," the model, who also works as a paralegal, says of undergoing the surgery. "But my father and I have met with a surgeon and countless doctors. Some of them are wary because I don't have breast cancer and I am so young, but others have said it's a very smart move, especially for someone who is genetically predisposed."

    Choosing Life over Beauty

    Rose describes the breast reconstructive plan as "very risky" and "not exactly seamless," but one that is worth it.

    "Your skin may be damaged in a way that you will lose your nipple, or sometimes women lose all of their breast tissue," she says, [but], "Breasts don't define your life. I'm choosing life over beauty. I'm choosing to remove something that's so iconic to my womanhood."

    Rose – who looks up to Robin Roberts and Giuliana Rancic, who both have battled breast cancer – is using her pageant opportunity as a platform to teach people how to be proactive in their healthcare.

    "Title holders across the country get an opportunity to speak to their generation and have something they can advocate," she says. "Being in the industry and competing in the most iconic swimsuit competition in the world, I thought to myself, 'If I were to win and have this surgery a year from now, would I be a different Miss America because I lost my breast?' No."

    Should she win the competition, Rose plans to undergo surgery after her duties are complete in January 2014. If she does not win, she will have the procedure done after her local duties are complete next June.

    "To win the pageant would truly have my mother's dreams for me come to fruition," says Rose, who will show off her unique roller skating talents during the competition. "Never once in my life did I doubt my mom's love for me or that she wouldn't do anything to have me succeed in life. Some people will never experience that kind of relationship with a parent."
    Miss Washington, D.C., to Undergo Preventative Double Mastectomy : People.com

    I think this is the second preemptive mastectomy article I've posted recently, but they get my attention. I haven't been tested for the gene, but if I ever find out I have it, off mine come, too.
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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    besides me having bc, hubs grandma had it as well. So, i worry that my 19 yo daughter has the gene.

    when i found out that i had bc, the doctor told me it was up to me whether i wanted a lumpectomy or a complete mastectomy. I was 46 but i guess i had some sort of misplaced vanity so i chose lumpectomy. looking back
    i wish that i would have had the mastectomy. i've spent the last 10 yrs always looking over my shoulder.

    i agree wholeheartedly with her decision. Better safe than sorry, right?
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    You did what you felt was right for you at the time msdeb. 10 years ago there wasn't quite as much genetic research as there is now. That's great you are a breast cancer survivor!! Can't blame you for worrying about your daughter.

    My step-sister had breast cancer at 50, first a lumpectomy, then mastectomy. HER daughter got it when she was 35, 2 years after her mom died (metastasized). At the time, the daughter was going thru a really bad divorce, and the guy was a dead beat dad. She was such a wreck with everything, I honestly don't know if she wound up getting a mastectomy, I imagine she did, but we never talked about it. She's made a full recovery.

    This woman, Miss Washington DC, sounds like her family has a really aggressive form, struck her mom really young, 27. Wow. Good for her being a role model, teaching people with her platform, raising awareness.

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    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    I wonder about this sort of thing. Are they really able to remove absolutely all of the breast tissue, and if not, if there are even a few bits left, could those then eventually turn into cancer? And if you get implants as part of reconstruction and there is still some breast tissue left below the implants, would the implants hide any cell changes? *off to Google*
    'I had to get rid of the kid. The cat was allergic.'

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    Elite Member Flygirl's Avatar
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    My cousin was recently diagnosed at age 34, and she also is a carrier of both the BRCA 1 and 2 genes which is extremely rare. The doctor told her her toddler daughters would need masectomies by age 21 but would still have a 10% chance of getting it because it's impossible for them to remove all tissue. Maybe medical advancements will be made by then (ages 2 and 4). I have always been of the opinion that if any of my body parts become traitorous to my well-being, get rid of 'em, but I also understand others' hesitations

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I don't blame her at all. She is doing the right thing and I know her Dad must be so relieved. This will lower her risk greatly.
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    Elite Member Icepik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConstanceSpry View Post
    I wonder about this sort of thing. Are they really able to remove absolutely all of the breast tissue, and if not, if there are even a few bits left, could those then eventually turn into cancer? And if you get implants as part of reconstruction and there is still some breast tissue left below the implants, would the implants hide any cell changes? *off to Google*

    My husband's friend's wife had breast cancer and decided to have a double mastectomy. A year later she was diagnosed again with cancer and passed away at 31 years old from it.

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    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    ^^Geez, that is so sad!
    'I had to get rid of the kid. The cat was allergic.'

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    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    I'd get rid of them too, boobs aren't worth dying for.


    Cancer sucks so bad. My husband's 26 year old cousin died this morning after fighting a very aggressive cancer for almost a year. She didn't die from breast cancer though, it was from Ewing's sarcoma and it's rare in adults. Cancer is horrible, too many people die too soon.

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    Elite Member Neptunia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadDwarf View Post
    I'd get rid of them too, boobs aren't worth dying for.


    Cancer sucks so bad. My husband's 26 year old cousin died this morning after fighting a very aggressive cancer for almost a year. She didn't die from breast cancer though, it was from Ewing's sarcoma and it's rare in adults. Cancer is horrible, too many people die too soon.
    I'm truly sorry DeadDwarf, 26 is just ridiculously young to die.
    The most tragic thing is that everyone of us has a cancer story, family member, someone we've loved, an old friend, colleague at work, etc. has struggled with it, died from it or wonderfully, recovered from it. Cancer is so pervasive but to die at 26? That's a tragedy all on its own. I agree if I had the breast cancer gene, I'd get rid of my breasts too. I'd end up worrying myself into an illness otherwise, they're just not worth it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadDwarf View Post
    I'd get rid of them too, boobs aren't worth dying for.


    Cancer sucks so bad. My husband's 26 year old cousin died this morning after fighting a very aggressive cancer for almost a year. She didn't die from breast cancer though, it was from Ewing's sarcoma and it's rare in adults. Cancer is horrible, too many people die too soon.
    I'm so sorry to hear this DeadDwarf. My sympathies to your hubs and his family.
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    She's pretty

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    Elite Member missbazilb's Avatar
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    My husband's paternal side of the family carries one of the breast cancer genes. His oldest sister was diagnosed about 11 years ago, lumpectomy, chemo, came through great. She had to have a hysterectomy a few years ago though. Now his second sister has been diagnosed. She had her lumpectomy in September and has been going through chemo. She just lost all her hair. A few more rounds to go though. I have a daughter, so we will be getting the genetic testing done for her. His whole family is part of a study at the local hospital here, so my daughter will join that for regular testing. She's only four, so hopefully by the time she hits puberty, there will be more advancements as well.

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    Elite Member InigoMontoya's Avatar
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    My story, your story kinda thing here...A friend of mine had a horrible, horrible history of ovarian cancer in her family, to such an extent that she and her sister chose elective hysterectomies. My SIL is thankfully clear of ovarian cancer. Cancer is a bitch.

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