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Miss America contestant pursuing double mastectomy

  • This photo courtesy Miss America Organization shows Miss DC, Allyn Rose, during the Swimsuit portion of preliminary competition at the 2013 Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. Win or lose, Saturday's Miss America competition will be Rose's last pageant. The 24-year-old plans to undergo a double mastectomy after the event as a preventative measure to reduce her chances of developing the disease that killed her mother, grandmother and great aunt. (AP Photo/Courtesy Miss America Organization)

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 D.C. 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 between dress rehearsals and preliminary competitions at Planet Hollywood on the Las Vegas Strip. "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."

If crowned, the University of Maryland, College Park, politics major could become the first Miss America not endowed with the Barbie silhouette associated with beauty queens.

Rose said it was her father who first broached the subject, during her freshman year of college, two years after the death of her mother


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