Rachel Zegler Details Her Breast Cancer Scare at 19 Years Old

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Rachel Zegler is using her platform to raise awareness about breast cancer early detection. The 21-year-old West Side Story actress took to her Instagram Stories over the weekend to detail a health scare she faced at only 19 years old and encourage others to take early detection seriously.

"Two years ago I found a lump in my breast and went through what was undoubtedly the scariest week of my life," she wrote over a photo of the scar she was left with after undergoing a procedure due to the scare. "No OB/GYN was taking new patients due to the backlog of the pandemic, but I was fortunate to have the care of my pediatrician who prescribed me an ultrasound, which led to an out-patient biopsy procedure. Thankfully it was benign."

"And now the scar serves as a reminder to check my breasts regularly for any irregular growth – the fibroadenoma in my left breast is a common occurrence but nevertheless extremely scary to find," she continued. "Early detection saves lives!!! Check your titty meat :)."

Zegler rose to fame quickly following her role as Maria in 2021's West Side Story, and is getting ready to grace the big screen as Snow White in 2024. She recently opened up in an interview with Elle about how taking on that role has helped her find her inner child after a whirlwind few years of growing up in the spotlight. 

“It’s just been a really beautiful moment for my inner child, bringing her back," she explained. "We were forced to grow up very fast with all of the life change that we went through in the last couple of years. [This is] just this very healing process for me.”

Zegler also shared that despite her success and her now-adult age, she remains incredibly close with her family. "My relationship with my family, my ‘core four,’ as I call us—my mom, my dad, my older sister, and me—has stayed the same, truly,” she shared, saying that her mom, Gina, quit her job so that she could be with Zegler each day while she worked on West Side Story. "I truly think that I would’ve lost my mind if I didn’t have her there, even after I turned 18,” she recalls. “I’m across the world now, and I miss that.”

As for the criticism that surrounds actors and actresses, Zegler says that part of fame is hard. "But at the end of the day, you have to remember that, at least in my case, I’m the one with the confidence to go out there, and show my face, and be myself, and I’m getting paid," she added. "I’m working, doing what I love...and it’s all I’ve ever wanted in my entire life. I’m really excited to share myself in that way, and let them all talk, you know? Let them all talk. I lead with love, and that’s all I can really tell the world.”

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