ROCKFORD - Allyn Rose is the
Miss America contestant representing the
"My mom passed away from breast cancer," said Rose.
Rose says that's
the primary reason she wants to remove both of her breasts. Dr. Nameer Al Mardini, oncologist at
"It's very important to detect that early in young age because that prevents the whole anxiety about having the cancer develop in any stage," said Al Mardini.
Simple blood tests can determine whether one has a gene mutation like BRCA1 or BRCA 2, which is passed down through family members and they make the chances of getting cancer much greater.
"Patients who have BRCA1 or BRCA2, the most common gene mutations, have a life risk of 50-85% of developing breast cancer," said Al Mardini.
Rose does not have either BRCA1 or BRCA2, but she does have another genetic mutation that increases her risks for being diagnosed with the disease. Although mastectomy is most common in those who have already contracted breast cancer, preventative mastectomy is not uncommon and generally encouraged.
"That is the recommendation," said Al Mardini. "That's actually the National Cancer Comprehensive Network's recommendation to proceed with a double mastectomy."
However, Al Mardini says the decision to move forward with breast removal is a discussion to have with one's own physician to see what's right for the individual.
"Of course [in Rose's case] that was the decision of her physician and it needed approval from the patient and the final decision always lies with the patient," said Al Mardini.
The Miss America pageant will air on Saturday on WTVO Channel 17 at 8:00 PM CST.