After sharing her story, the actress encouraged her followers to be proactive about potential health issues

By Joelle Goldstein
September 20, 2019 05:41 PM
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Katie Stevens is opening up about her breast cancer scare this week.

In a candid post on Instagram on Friday, The Bold Type actress, 26, revealed that she recently discovered a lump on her breast, which she later learned was a benign tumor called a fibroadenoma.

Though the tumor is common in women, Stevens, who is in the middle of planning her wedding and filming season 4 of the hit Freeform show, said she was grateful that the health scare wasn’t anything worse and urged her followers to listen to their bodies if they notice something may be wrong.

A rep for Stevens did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Beginning her post, the star revealed that she was initially hesitant to share her story but felt obligated, especially because her character on The Bold Type, Jane Sloan, has dealt with a similar breast cancer storyline.

Katie Stevens
Katie Stevens/Instagram

“I like to work out because it gives me a little bit of control in terms of my health, in that, I’m doing what I can to move my body, eat well, and do the best I can for my body,” she wrote, alongside a post-workout snap. “As I learned this week, there are some things that are out of our control. You can’t really control some of the changes happening in your body.”

“I didn’t know if I should share this but, what the heck. I had a little bit of a health scare this week,” she continued. “I want to preface this story by saying that I am 100% okay. But I feel that based on the fact that I play Jane on The Bold Type, I feel a responsibility to share my own personal story.”

Stevens went on to share how she decided to randomly give herself a self-breast exam on Wednesday morning before work. It was during that spur-of-the-moment exam that she noticed a lump in her breast “that wasn’t normal.”

“I had never felt one before, and it didn’t feel like normal breast tissue,” she recalled. “It was clearly a lump, and that was alarming since I do these exams on myself regularly to have a clear knowledge of my breasts in case this circumstance ever occurred.”

The actress said she was “in a panic” and “so emotional” after finding the lump — partially because of the exciting things going on in her life, including her upcoming nuptials to music producer Paul DiGiovanni — and decided to seek out a breast specialist and get an ultrasound.

Katie Stevens

“I needed clarity… I feel very lucky and grateful and was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief,” she explained after getting the results. “I have to continue to monitor it every 6 months, but women get these all the time, many women in my family have them too.”

Continuing, Stevens urged her followers to get checked out if they suspect something may be wrong with their body.

“I wanted to share this story because this is SO common for women as we get older, but it doesn’t make it any less alarming or scary,” she wrote. “We should be having more conversations about this, and the biggest takeaway is: if you have something going on that you think might be a health issue, don’t wait. Get it checked out.”

“It’s scary to find out that something might be wrong, but the quicker you get the information, the quicker you can do something about it, OR (in my case) the quicker you can have peace of mind! Knowledge is power,” she continued. “I now have an awareness of my body that I didn’t have before.”

“And again, I’m 100% okay, happy and healthy and appreciating this body that I’m in 💕,” Stevens proudly added.

Paul DiGiovanni and Katie Stevens
Katie Stevens/Instagram

Fibroadenoma is a common, benign breast tumor that often develops during puberty, but can be found in women of any age, according to Breast Cancer Care.

The condition typically occurs as a painless lump, which is smooth and easy to move under the skin, but its exact cause remains unknown. Some professionals believe the tumor occurs due to increased sensitivity to the hormone estrogen.

Since June 2017, Stevens has been portraying Jane Sloan in the Freeform dramedy about three friends who work at a fashion publication in New York City.

During the first season, one episode explored Jane’s decision to get tested for the BRCA mutation gene after it is revealed that her mother died of breast cancer. A similar storyline involving Jane was brought up again in the second season.

The series was renewed for an 18-episode fourth season in May 2019, but a premiere date has not yet been set.