Published Jun 2, 2021
Hollywood reporter Amanda Salas is all about body positivity. The non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivor shared a message about working out during her cancer remission that encourages all women – cancer warrior or not – to embrace healthy living, not societal pressures of body image.
Salas, 35, was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in June 2019. She underwent six rounds of 24-hour chemotherapy five days a week, but now she’s well and living life to the fullest.
The FOX LA reporter recently took to Instagram to share a photo and a video of her breaking a sweat in purple leggings and a yellow crop top while on her “staycation.”
“I might be off work for a week, but not off working out,” she wrote. “I’m trading in ‘hot girl Summer’ for HEALTHY GIRL SUMMER.”
And this is not the first time Salas has posted about body image. In another recent post for World Blood Cancer Day, she shared two photos side-by-side. One from 2019 when she had lost her hair while undergoing cancer treatment and another from this year. Under the post, she explained that some days with cancer are harder than others – both physically and emotionally.
“I won’t sit here and tell you ‘you got this’ or ‘it gets better’ …I’ll show you. I’ll share with with you,” Salas wrote. “Sometimes you are going to complain about being bald and the awkward stages while growing it back….but one thing is for sure: no one understands what YOU are going through like another survivor. Find your people. Find your support. Share YOUR story…whenever you’re ready. It could help someone else.”
Lymphoma, in general, is a cancer of the immune system that begins in the white blood cells called lymphocytes. There are more than 40 different types, with Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma being the main two sub-categories. The type of white blood cells linked to the disease determines the distinction. If doctors are unable to detect the Reed-Sternberg cell – a giant cell derived from B lymphocytes – then it is categorized as non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Currently, there’s no screening test for lymphoma, so being aware of risk is important. Being exposed to certain viruses, having another autoimmune disease or having a family history of the cancer can put you at a higher risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It’s also important to look out for potential symptoms of the disease which include swollen glands, fever, night sweats, weight loss and fatigue.
Amanda Salas is very aware of the societal pressures surrounding women and their bodies – and her message is to do away with that and focus on being healthy. Other cancer survivors, like Ann Caruso, share a similar take.
Caruso had 12 surgeries to treat her breast cancer, and told SurvivorNet that all of the change to her body really affected the way she saw her body.
“You’re not the same carefree person that you once were, and it was very hard for me to look at myself every day,” Caruso said in a previous interview with SurvivorNet. “It was like I was a totally different person and didn’t fit into any of my clothes for so long.”
But the celebrity stylist has learned a whole lot about femininity and body image since beating breast cancer. She hopes to impart her knowledge upon others dealing with similar struggles.
“Femininity is a state of mind,” Caruso said. “And I think that’s something that we have to remind ourselves.”