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Arkansas woman, former Bachelor contestant, shares story following double mastectomy

Lesley Murphy.JPG
An Arkansas woman and former Bachelor contestant is sharing her story with others after going through a double mastectomy. (Photo: KATV)

An Arkansas woman and former Bachelor contestant is sharing her story with others after going through a double mastectomy.

"I had a fear of being diagnosed with breast cancer one day especially after my mom went through it," explained Lesley Murphy, whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago.

"One day she went to the doctor because she felt a lump, and it turned out that she was BRCA 2 positive after being treated for the whole panel," Lesley recalled. "That then led us, her three daughters, to get tested as well."

A positive test led Lesley down a fast track of decisions, ultimately deciding to undergo a double mastectomy.

"With an increase in genetic testing I think ladies are taking a more proactive stance in their health care," said Dr. Eric Wright, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at UAMS. "Deciding, 'I don't want to go through cancer, I want to get this taken care of now while I'm young and healthy.'"

Dr. Wright says in the last decade, they've seen an increase in the number of patients undergoing preventative mastectomies.

"About 50 days later after finding out that I was positive for the gene, I was on an OR table getting a double mastectomy," Lesley said.

"She has a family history, she got tested, she found out she had a high risk of breast cancer in the future and decided it wasn't something she wanted to risk," Dr. Wright explained.

Lesley is now about a week out from her reconstructive surgery and says she feels empowered about her decision.

"I think people are super scared to go down this route but I want them to know it's so possible and I think people will feel empowered and stronger than they've ever felt after surgery so I think it's a great decision to make."