Las Vegas, NV – With the historic season of The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned in full swing, the 16 fighters vying for the opportunity to be the first UFC female 115-pound champion have shown the world they are both strong and beautiful, inside and out. Each has pushed herself to peak athleticism – prepared for any battle.
One opponent however, doesn’t care about strength, fitness or mental determination. Breast cancer will affect one in eight women in their lifetime and, despite the cast of The Ultimate Fighter being at the top of their physical prowess, they are still susceptible to the disease. Like preparing for a fight, knowledge and awareness of what you are up against can provide a critical advantage.
In conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness month, the all-women cast of The Ultimate Fighter took time away from their training to better understand the disease and how methods for early detection can make all the difference in the fight.
The fighters spent an afternoon with Dr. Margaret Terhar MD, FACS, a breast surgeon at Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada (http://www.cccnevada.com/). She discussed symptoms and signs, early detection methods, and preventative measures that all women should know and practice.
“It was an honor and I found it inspirational to interact with the highly motivated and well-informed young athletes participating in The Ultimate Fighter,” said Dr. Terhar. “As women achieve greater visibility in the world of sports and particularly the UFC, it is the perfect opportunity for them to help spread the word about good health habits.
“It is important for women at any age to conduct a regular breast self-exam and to be aware of any irregular lumps, textures or color that may be symptoms of breast cancer. Not only do these women literally fight to be at the top of their game, but they have an incredible platform to promote breast cancer awareness and help save lives.
For The Ultimate Fighter coach and current UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, the conversation on breast cancer is personal.
“Breast cancer is definitely something to be aware of,” said Pettis. “A student of mine found out she had breast cancer. I saw the process and how much it affects individuals and their families. It’s important that these ladies be aware and alert that it could possibly happen to them.”
Cast member Emily Kagan valued the reminder that the disease can affect anyone: “The fact that I am susceptible and so are the other women in my life was eye-opening and educational. More so, in the sense of being reminded that this is a reality.”
The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned returns tonight at 10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. In episode five, an injury forces one of the fighters out of the competition, and opens the door for another to get a second chance in the tournament. The Team Melendez fighters question the severity of Heather Clark’s nagging knee injury. Additionally, the storied rivalry between No.6 seed Felice Herrig of Team Pettis and No.11 seed Heather Clark finally comes to a head, as they face off in the fifth preliminary fight.
For further details on the fight against breast cancer, visit www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/breast.