Almost ten years after being diagnosed with breast cancer, Sheryl Crow is continuing to lend her voice to help find a cure.
“I’m really excited to be working with this new technology,” Crow, 54, tells PEOPLE. “I was diagnosed ten years ago with breast cancer, which I think most people know. Since I was diagnosed, a lot of advances have been made. It’s wonderful to be aligned with a technology that women may or may not know about – it’s a 3D mammography, the Genius 3D Mammography exam. It’s proven to detect breast cancer 15 months earlier than any 2D mammography.”
She adds, “We want to encourage women to take this into their own hands, ask their doctors where they can find the Genius Mammography machine – there’s one in every state. It’s the best way, really, to prevent breast cancer from being a terrible prognosis.”
Crow, who was diagnosed in 2006, says her outlook on life changed immediately.
“When I was diagnosed ten years ago, it was definitely a showstopper,” she explains. “Although I knew that it was not a death sentence for me because it was very early on, that became a moment where I really reevaluated and reinvented my life in a way where I put myself first, where I learned how to say no.”
Because the mother of two says she was “extremely lucky” to have been diagnosed at stage one, she is urging women to take full advantage of this new technology.
“Although there’s no cure at this moment, early detection is life-saving and when you have the opportunity to have a 3D mammography at this point in our evolution, as far as cancer is concerned, every women should have the opportunity to have the best kind of mammography,” says Crow.
Now, nearly ten years later, Crow says that she has learned so much about herself as a person – especially as a mother.
“You go through life and you really try to embrace being compassionate and empathetic at all times. I think as a parent, the more tired we are, we can lose our tempers really quickly. It’s been great for me to try and be empathetic and compassionate with my boys (Wyatt, 9 and Levi, 6) so that is something that they grow up watching and hopefully emulate.”
While continuing to share her story, Crow admits that her diagnosis was not all negative and brought “small blessings” into her life.
“One of those blessings is being able to be alive with great technology like the Genius 3D Mammography exam and speak to women and be like, ‘I’m a really lucky person and I’m the story of hope and technology,'” she says. “Let that be your story as opposed to waiting, especially if you find a lump or if you have family history. That’s my story.”