Rebecca Crews Shares What Her Breast Cancer Diagnosis Taught Her: 'As Women, We Don't Take Care of Ourselves'

After a double mastectomy last year, she's cancer-free—and she has sound advice for all women.

Welcome to Deep Dives, a new Health video series where inspiring people talk about a health topic that's meaningful to them and share relatable stories around health and wellness. Watch Rebecca Crews's Deep Dive above!

Actress and singer-songwriter Rebecca Crews, 55, had a feeling something was wrong before she was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer last year. "I just kept having this strong feeling," Crews tells Health. She went for scans, and while her mammogram came back clear, an ultrasound revealed a growth that needed to be biopsied.

She knew how she'd want to proceed if diagnosed with cancer: "I had this thought: 'Rebecca, what if they do find something? Be radical. Cut it off. Don't play.' Three days later, they called me with the news that it was cancer." She stuck with her intuition and had a double mastectomy. "I had a good handle on...what I'm going to do. I, right away, made appointments with the surgeons. Within a month I was in surgery. They got everything out. My reconstruction went off without a hitch."

Crews healed well and is now cancer-free. She credits her access to health care with helping her survive her cancer. "I'm very fortunate that when this happened to me I had very good insurance. Ten years ago, that would not have been the case."

She feels thankful her cancer was detected and treated early, and she says her diagnosis taught her just how important it is to stay up-to-date on recommended cancer screenings. "As women, we don't take care of ourselves like we should. We're so consumed with looking out for everyone else," Crews says.

Now, she wants to use her story to encourage other women to get screened for breast cancer as often as their doctor suggests: "Just get a mammogram every year or go to a free screening."

Watch the rest of Crews's deep dive in the video above.

Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines

Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines: As of May 2023, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that cisgender women and people assigned female at birth get mammograms every two years beginning at age 40. This is 10 years earlier than the current guidelines. More research is needed on whether people with dense breasts should have additional screenings as well as the potential benefits and risks of screening people older than 75.

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