Nightbirde Shares Exciting News
- Former America's Got Talent contestant Nightbirde appeared on CNN last night to give an update on her health amid metastatic breast cancer battle; she says her tumors are shrinking.
- In 2019, Nightbirde was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer; her cancer battle began in 2017 when a 4-centimeter tumor was discovered on her breast.
- Mammograms and self-breast exams are used to detect breast cancer; women aged 45 to 54 with an average risk of breast cancer should screen annually for the disease.
“It’s a lot to process the highest highs and the lowest lows of my life all happening at the same time,” she says, referring to her cancer battle coupled with her showstopping performance on America’s Got Talent. “It’s a lot to carry, but it’s also such an honor; the whole world is carrying their own weight, and we’ve got to learn how to do this together.”
Nightbirde explains to Cuomo how she thinks life is sometimes a game of “choose your pain.” She breaks down this outlook, saying, “The pain of continuing or the pain of giving up. The pain of continuing there’s a lot of uncertainty. But I think the pain of giving up is so much worse.”
Cuomo referenced the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, asking her how she felt about it. “Every year that I get to gather around a table with people I love is such an honor and a gift. I should not be alive right now based on the usual statistics,” she says. “So every year this time of year comes around it’s special for the whole family.”
Notably, Chris Cuomo inappropriately comments on the singer’s weight, telling her she needs to gain weight. Many people lose weight when they are ill. If someone comments on your weight and it makes you uncomfortable, voice your discomfort and draw a boundary whether it’s a close family member, a stranger, or a public figure, like Cuomo. Women’s bodies are especially prone to commentary, public opinion, and public entitlement; your body is yours, and yours alone, regardless of your gender. Even if the comment is well-intentioned, as Cuomo’s likely was, feel free to shut it down.
Nightbirde also shares that she’s working on new music, and she credits her pain with her creativity. She tells Cuomo she “can’t stop smiling.”
Nightbirde’s Cancer Battle
Earlier this year, Nightbirde appeared on America’s Got Talent and stole the hearts of viewers and judges, including the typically icy Simon Cowell.
Nightbirde shared that her breast cancer had spread to her liver and her lungs. Her battle began in 2017 when a 4-centimeter tumor was discovered on her breast. She underwent six rounds of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy for treatment.
And in 2019, she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer on New Year's Eve. Her doctors discovered multiple tumors on her liver, lungs, lymph nodes, ribs, and spine. She was told that she had three to six months to live but she surprised doctors with her strength and endurance amid treatment.
Metastatic breast cancer treatment options include hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted drugs. Sometimes, radiation or surgery might also be considered at this stage.
An Overview of Treatment Options for Advanced Breast Cancer
Screening for Breast Cancer
When it comes to breast cancer, mammograms save lives. As Robin Roberts discovered, early detection is critically important and it can mean broader treatment options as well. Women ages 45 to 54 with an average risk of breast cancer should get mammograms annually.
For women with an elevated risk of breast cancer this means they either have a history of breast cancer in the family, or they have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation they should begin screening even earlier, before age 45.
While getting a mammogram, ask about dense breasts, which may obscure cancer. The technician will be able to do determine whether or not you have dense breasts.