Miss America contestant Allyn Rose is sending a clear message about breast cancer prevention; she is taking control of what she hopes will be a cancer-free future.
The 24-year-old Maryland native and Miss District of Columbia 2012 title winner plans to undergo a bilateral mastectomy at some point after the Miss America pageant, which just recently took place January 12th in Las Vegas, Nev.
Rose did not win the Miss America competition, but she did suggest that win or lose, she would have continued to follow through on her decision to have this prophylactic procedure. She would have been the first Miss America not endowed with the typical silhouette commonly associated with beauty queens.
The University of Maryland political science major did not make this decision on her own; she had the help of her father, who actually approached Rose with idea first, two years after the death of her mother.
“I said, ‘Dad I’m not going to do that. I like the body I have.’ He got serious and said, ‘Well then you’re going to end up dead like your mom.’ ”
Rose had spent the past few years pondering the idea of a prophylactic mastectomy, especially considering that her mother was first diagnosed at the age of 27, which is only three years away for this pageant winner.
While Rose’s mother had one breast removed at the age of 27, she waited to have the other removed at the age of 47, which is when a stage III tumor was found. Unfortunately, her mother eventually succumbed to the disease, along with Rose’s grandmother and great aunt.
While preventative surgery is a reasonable decision for someone with her genetic history, there are many that feel that this is a radical decision that is unnecessary.
Since the approval of genetic testing and reconstructive surgery options for post-mastectomy patients, more women are seeking out this type of procedure in order to minimize the fear of getting breast cancer.
Although Rose is not a carrier of BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, she still inherited a genetic mutation that may predispose her to a breast cancer diagnosis in the future.
How do you feel about women undergoing prophylactic mastectomies? Is this the trend for the future?