Mediaplanet: What inspired you to become an active voice for breast cancer awareness?

Kristin Chenoweth: My mom is a breast cancer survivor, as well as another aunt on my dad’s side and my aunt Roselyn, who is no longer with us and who started with breast cancer and ended with brain cancer. So obviously that word has had a profound effect on my life. If I can just be one of the many voices to raise awareness on how to take better care of ourselves as people and as women, then I’m doing a small part of what I should be doing. 

MP: What was it like dealing with your mother’s diagnosis?

KC: I had a small time—about a month—helping care for her when it was over. The real question is: How did she deal with it? How she dealt with it was, letting herself be sad, getting herself over little hurtles along the way. She handled it with strength, prayer and she had a lot of love around her. That’s how you do anything that’s hard in life.

HEAD ON: "Our number one priority should be our health and it’s probably my biggest challenge in life.”

MP: When the cancer came back for a second time, how was your family affected?

KC: The first time she had melanoma; the second time she had breast cancer. You just can’t believe that you are hearing that word again. But as cancer often does, it returned. Which is why we really have to listen to our bodies. And when something feels off, have it checked out.

MP: Why is it so critical that women are proactive about getting the proper screening? 

KC: It’s an easy answer; the reason is that statistics tell us that if we have early detection there is a better chance of survival. And with breast tomosynthesis, it shows so much more, and so much more information is available to the doctors. I had mine done and I could actually see blood vessels. So if we have this available to us, why wouldn’t we do it?

MP: How do you find time in your busy schedule to focus on your own preventative health?

KC: I have a lot of love around me, too. My mom, my friends, my loved ones don’t let me get off, forgetting to take care of myself and getting regular check-ups. Again, our number one priority should be our health and it’s probably my biggest challenge in life because I love to work, I love to be out there—I love to go, go, go. But you have to be careful.