Crow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. She 'came incredibly close to missing the opportunity' to detect her cancer early.
Sheryl Crow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. Now in remission, she has made it a point to talk about the importance of early detection.
At the time of her diagnosis, there was so much going on in her life that she was very close to missing out on her annual appointment.
In an exclusive op-ed for PEOPLE, the Grammy-award winning artist wrote that when she was approached to make a documentary of her life, she was hesitant at first, but then she saw it as an opportunity to "tell my story — my whole story, from my perspective — was one that not everyone gets in life."
"For someone like me, especially, who has lived three decades in the public eye, dealing with preconceived notions of my identity based solely on song lyrics or tabloid rumors, making a movie felt like a refreshing and cathartic way to enter into a new decade of life."
"But this is not the first time I've opened my personal life to the public. In fact, I've spent the past decade sharing my experience with breast cancer with women across the world — from my fans to their sisters, daughters and mothers — in the hopes that they will learn from my experience and prioritize their health. It's so important to me because I came incredibly close to missing the opportunity to find my cancer early," she added.
Even in her documentary, Sheryl, the country singer shared that 2006 was a particularly tumultuous time for her.
"I was going through a public breakup and battling with paparazzi, all while trying to focus on my career. I've always been a healthy person who prioritized eating well and exercising, but at that time it seemed impossible to focus on anything other than getting through each day and keeping my career going. Naturally, I found myself tempted to delay my annual mammogram visit — like so many women do when dealing with stressful periods of life, whether during a pandemic, career change, family issues, or just the daily grind," she added.
But luckily, she went for her appointment, "and my breast cancer was found early, giving me an opportunity to begin treatment and move on with my life."
She then wrote about how since then, there have been several advancements in breast cancer screening which is clinically proven to detect more invasive cancers. She mentions how the advancements reduce 'callbacks' and women don't have to "deal with going back to the doctor for a second screening only to find there is nothing to be concerned about."
"For the majority of women, breast cancer is treatable if caught early. My story is a testament that you can go on to live a long, healthy life after diagnosis," she wrote.
"As a breast cancer survivor who credits early detection for saving my life, I have made it part of my life story to help educate women about the importance of scheduling their annual mammograms. It's my hope that women who watch Sheryl will be inspired to advocate for themselves in all aspects of their lives, especially when it comes to preventive health screenings," she concluded her piece.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Cindy Ord