Because she is so young, Anastacia might not have had a mammogram for several years. Feeling that her cancer would never have been discovered without one, she is now taking on insurance companies. Insurers generally don't pay for mammograms for women under 40, since breast cancer is rare in that age group.
"It's unfortunate but until we lobby against our insurance companies and try to make them lower the bar to 30 or 35, we are gonna have a lot of women that have a lot more serious cancers than I have," she said.
Dr. Edelstein, the radiologist who performed her mammogram, also thinks insurers should pay for them.
Anastacia said she never felt bitter about her diagnosis. "I never got angry. I completely knew exactly the reason why. I knew exactly why I was chosen," she said.
Anastacia feels she was "chosen" to face breast cancer, because she's in a position that allows her to help others. "I'm a singer who touches millions of people and my words and my knowledge of what I'm learning from cancer can help millions. And if I can help millions, even if I help one person, that's one person more than none," she said.
Back on Top — and in Love
In her case, Anastacia's almost accidental mammogram had saved her life. Four days after the surgery, the doctor called with the final biopsy results — the cancer had not spread.
Within a month of her surgery, the feisty young singer was virtually unstoppable, back out hitting the circuit in Los Angeles, even singing at a post-Oscar party with close friend Elton John.
Even as she grew stronger, Anastacia, like so many other breast cancer survivors, was struggling with her self-image. Feeling undesirable, she had decided to give up on love. Then she met a special man.
"And I was like, God, life is really just pushing me to that single door, isn't it?" she said. The surgery, she said, has not hampered her love life.
Once again, this feisty singer was embracing life. Now she is determined to help other young women, bringing the same force of nature to that cause that she's brought to everything else.
"I would say to anyone suffering from cancer, keep on pushing because it's not something to be ashamed about. The sooner you catch this disease you're smiling like me. And I saved my life, my doctor saved my life."
"That's me. Survivor Chick."