Former BET Host Ananda Lewis Shares That She Has Stage 3 Breast Cancer: 'I Have Refused Mammograms, and That Was a Mistake' [Video]

TV host and personality Ananda Lewis took to Instagram to reveal that she’s been battling stage 3 breast cancer for two years now.

via Essence:

Lewis, 47, shared thew news in a video message on Instagram, where she opened by apologizing to her friends and family members who might be hurt that she was speaking about her diagnosis publicly first. Lewis has been battling her

“For a really long time, I have refused mammograms, and that was a mistake,” said Lewis, the former host of BET’s Teen Summit and The Ananda Lewis Show. “I watched my mom get mammograms for almost 30 years almost, 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.’”

Although Lewis stands by her beliefs that too much radiation can cause cancer, she says she wants women to understand that mammograms are still one of the most powerful tools they can have in early detection and she wishes that she’d gotten one sooner. Because she waited, Lewis revealed that after her diagnosis she had to have two Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans done, which subjected her body to more radiation.

“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.”

Watch Ananda’s cautionary tale below.

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