Allyn Rose, the 24-year old Miss Washington D.C. contestant for Miss America, has announced she will have a preemptive double mastectomy. She said she was genetically predisposed to developing breast cancer, the same disease that took the life of her mother, when her mother was still young and has affected most of the women in her family.

Therefore, Rose decided it was not worth taking any risks and has decided on the surgery. The paralegal, who will represent Washington D.C. in the upcoming pageant, said her mother lost one breast at the age of 27, but when she reached 48 her cancer returned in her left breast. At that point, said Rose, the cancer was already at stage three. Her mother could have had the other breast removed, but she believes her mother did not want to give up both of her breasts.

The pageant contestant said her father pleaded with her mother to remove her second breast, but her mother refused. She said her mother missed out on so many things in her life and Rose wants to be there for her own kids. She said she was her own mentor, picked up her own dress for the prom and had to graduate high school without a mother.

Rose said her mom was not around for her when she went off to college or when she had her first date.   Rose said that for many women breasts define their lives, but she has decided to choose her life over her beauty. She said she is removing something from her body that is iconic to her womanhood, but wants the world to see that a woman’s sexuality and worth is defined by much more than a pair of breasts.

If she is victorious in the pageant, she will have surgery in January of 2014, but if she is not victorious, she will have the procedure June of 2013.

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