As October begins, so does Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s a very important time considering that about one in eight women will develop it in her lifetime, and according to the CDC, and death rates among Black women are 40 percent higher than white women.
Ananda Lewis, former MTV Veejay and TV personality, is seeking to get women to take the proper precautions and get mammograms, as early detection is key to successful treatment for cancer. She knows this and is doing so because, as she revealed in an IG TV video, she has breast cancer and has been fighting it for two years.
The 47-year-old admitted that for a long time she passed on getting mammograms because her own mother went and had them consistently, and eventually was diagnosed with breast cancer. She assumed it was the low energy X-rays that exposed her to the disease.
“I said, ‘Huh! Radiation exposure for years equals breast cancer. Yeah, I’m going to pass,’” she said. “‘Thanks anyway.’”
She still believes that an accumulation of radiation in your body can cause cancer, but says had she gone and had mammograms, just a few, her cancer would have been caught earlier and her exposure to radiation would have been minimal. Instead, she ended up having two PET scans, which she said equal out to about 30 mammograms each in terms of radiation exposure, or 60 in total.
“If I had done the mammograms from the time they were recommended when I turned 40, they would have caught the tumor in my breast years before I caught it through my own breast exam, self-exam and thermography,” she said. “They would have caught it at a place where it was more manageable, where the treatment of it would have been a little easier. It’s never easy, but I use that word in comparison to what I’m going through now.”
She shared that she presently has stage 3 breast cancer in her lymph nodes. She’s opted for 100 percent alternative natural treatments (“I’ve done everything”), which she said have helped the condition “not spread like wildfire in my body.” But until it’s gone she said she has a lot of work to do.
“I wish I could go back,” she said. “I have a 9-year-old I need to be here for. I have no intention on leaving him.”
With a little bit of regret on her mind, she shared her story in the hopes of getting other people to be proactive sooner.
“I need you to share this with the women in your life who may be as stubborn as I was about mammograms. And I need you to tell them that they have to do it,” she said. “Early detection, especially for breast cancer, changes your outcome. It can save their life.”
“For me it was important to come to you and admit where I went wrong with this because it could help you or someone you know,” she added.
But Lewis is determined to not let this thing steal her joy. She also plans to keep things natural, and to not have people feel sorry for her. She is confident that things will work out fine because she has faith in a multitude of things, including herself.
“For me, alternative is still the best way. I stand by that,” she said. “I believe in the power of my body. I believe in the intelligence of my body. I believe in my power, and I believe in the power of my God. And all of that is going to help me.”