The contestant representing Washington D.C. in next year's Miss America pageant has revealed that she'll undergo a double mastectomy as a preventative measure against breast cancer.
Allyn Rose, 24, tells People magazine that she lost her mom to breast cancer at age 16 and later found out that she is a carrier of the same rare chromosomal disease that her mother suffered from.
"The idea that I could wake up one day and not have the same body that I did the day before is very scary," she tells the magazine. "But I also realize my mom was diagnosed at 27. That's three years away from me. I'm not going to let my fear of losing this part of my femininity stop me from living."
Rose calls the surgery "a very scary proposition," but feels that it is the best course of action. "My father and I have met with a surgeon and countless doctors. Some of them are wary because I don't have breast cancer and I am so young, but others have said it's a very smart move, especially for someone who is genetically predisposed."
The pageant queen said that if she wins the Miss America contest, she plans to undergo surgery after her duties are complete in January 2014. If she does not win, she will schedule the surgery for after she completes her local duties in June 2013.
The 2013 Miss America pageant will be broadcast live on January 12 from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC.