TV host Ananda Lewis has been battling stage 3 breast cancer for the last two years.
“For a really long time, I have refused mammograms, and that was a mistake,” said Lewis, on Instagram. “I watched my mom get mammograms for almost 30 years, and at the end of that, she had breast cancer, and I said, ‘Huh? Radiation exposure for years equals breast cancer. Yeah, I’m going to pass. Thanks anyway.’”
Lewis stands by her belief that too much radiation can cause cancer, but she wants women to understand that mammograms are still one of the most powerful tools they have in early detection. Because Lewis waited, she had to have two PET scans done, which subjected her body to more radiation than annual preventative mammograms would have.
“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,” Lewis said. “And 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 easier, but I use that word in comparison to what I’m going through now. Instead, what I’m dealing with is stage 3 breast cancer that is in my lymphs. I need you to get your mammograms.”
Now that Lewis has revealed her diagnosis, she said she will be more open with her fans and share more updates on her health going forward.
“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,” said Lewis. “This is an ongoing journey for me.”
Photos by Getty Images