- No mas: Principal bans Spanish language in intercom announcement
- Hacking software could put ‘zombie drone army’ in user’s hands
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
Miss America contestant pursuing double mastectomy
“I’ve seen young women have it done, and they have great peace of mind,” she said, adding that the alternative is repeated mammograms and physical exams, which detect but do not prevent cancer from developing.
The number of women opting for preventive mastectomies increased 10-fold between 1998 and 2007, as genetic testing and reconstructive surgery options improved, according to a 2010 study published last year in Annals of Surgical Oncology.
Art McMaster, CEO of the Miss America Organization, called Rose an “incredible example” of strength and courage.
The Newburg, Md. native said she has received letters from supporters all over the country, including from fellow “previvors” who say they have been inspired to undergo their own preventive surgeries. The Wynn sports book gives her 25 to 1 odds of winning the Miss America crown, making her a moderate favorite.
But her decision is drawing criticism as well as praise in the staged-managed world of pageants, where contestants regularly go under the knife for a very different reason.
She also receives hate mail from beauty circuit die-hards who write to insist that she continue filling out her bikini.
“You have people who say, ‘Don’t have the surgery. This is mutilating your body. You don’t have cancer.’ They want to pick apart every little thing,” she said. Some have even accused her of faking the make herself a more media-friendly candidate.
This kind of pre-emptive surgery has divided the medical community as well. For someone in her early 20s to have the procedure is “very unusual,” said Todd Tuttle, chief of surgical oncology at the University of Minnesota.
Sandra Swain, medical director of Washington Cancer Institute in Washington, DC, fears that women who have lost family members to breast cancer could take Rose’s example too literally.
“We’re seen a rise in prophylactic mastectomies and a lot of it is not for a medical reason; it is because of fear and anxiety,” she said.
Rose does not carry the “breast cancer genes” BRCA1 and BRCA2, but she did inherit a rare genetic mutation which might predispose her to the disease.
Her brother, who works for an oncology association, said he sees the irony in a beauty queen choosing to give up her breasts but supports his sister’s choice.
“For me what trumps everything is her living, hopefully to a ripe old age, as opposed to any ancillary things that she might lose from potentially winning Miss America,” said Dane Rose, 31.
Rose initially said that if she won the crown, she would postpone her surgery until after her year as a title-holder. But while shopping for earrings to match her black velvet pageant gown Wednesday, she said she was now considering having the surgery during her reign as a way of inscribing her platform of breast cancer prevention on her body.
“I’ve been thinking how powerful that might be to have a Miss America say, ‘I might be Miss America but I’m still going to have surgery. I’m going to take control of my own life, my own health care,’” she said. “So I guess it’s up to what happens on Saturday night.”
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- First Dog Sunny knocks down Ashtyn Gardner; Michelle Obama yanks leash
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- MILLER: Obamas EPA closing smelter will not affect ammunition supply
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- HURT: Postal Service misses address by a whole continent
- Inside the Ring: China targeting U.S. spy flights
- HARPER: 'Knockout game' not a myth to liberal Sharpton
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
Playing Through covers the world of PGA golf, as well as tips your the average golfer to play better.