Miss America contestant pursues double mastectomy

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LAS VEGAS — Win or lose Saturday, Miss America contestant Allyn Rose will have conveyed a message about breast cancer prevention using her primary tool as a beauty queen: her body.

The 24-year-old Miss DC plans to undergo a double mastectomy after she struts in a bikini and flaunts her roller skating talent. She is removing both breasts as a preventive measure to reduce her chances of developing the disease that killed her mother, grandmother and great aunt.

“My mom would have given up every part of her body to be here for me, to watch me in the pageant,” she said Wednesday. “If there’s something that I can do to be proactive, it might hurt my body, it might hurt my physical beauty, but I’m going to be alive.”

She measures her age by the time of her mother, Judy Rose’s, first diagnosis, at age 27.

“Right now, I’m three years away,” she said.

Judy had one breast removed in her 20s, but waited until she was 47 to remove the other one, which Rose’s father had called a ticking time bomb.

“That’s when they found she had a stage three tumor in her breast,” Rose said. “And that’s why for me, I’m not going to wait.”

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