Q&A: Sheryl Crow on the importance of early diagnosis and her own battle with breast cancer

Sheryl Crow has sold more than 50 million records and won nine Grammy Awards behind such hit songs as “All I Wanna Do,” “Everyday is a Winding Road" and “Soak up the Sun.” Since being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, Crow has also played an active role in promoting women’s health, and Hologic announced in June that she was serving as a national spokesperson for the company’s Genius 3D MAMMOGRAPHY exam.

Crow took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for Radiology Business about her role as a spokesperson and why early diagnosis is so important for women.

Radiology Business: In the years following your diagnosis and treatment, you have spent a lot of time promoting women's health. What made you want to take on such an active role?

Sheryl Crow: So many women put everyone else before themselves, because they are busy with their careers or with their families. It’s so easy to put off important health screenings and doctor appointments, but it is so important to stay on top of your health. I’ll always remember how busy I was when I got the mammogram that caught my cancer—it was Grammys week and I very well could have put it off a few months. Instead, I kept my appointment and it was a game changer.

The mammogram caught my breast cancer early, and I’m now healthy and cancer-free. I want every woman to make her health a priority and schedule their Genius exam—it’s so critical for yourself, your family and the important women in your life.

What was it about Hologic's Genius 3D MAMMOGRAPHY exam that made you want to be the technology's national spokesperson?

The topic of early detection is really important to me because, like so many women, I’ve personally battled breast cancer and, fortunately, am now marking 10 years since my diagnosis.

If breast cancer is found early, the five-year survival rate is nearly 100 percent! It is so critical that we find the disease as early as possible to give everyone the best possible chance of survival, and that’s why I’m partnering with Hologic, the company behind the Genius 3D MAMMOGRAPHY exam, which is proven to detect cancer 15 months earlier than conventional mammograms. That’s an incredible statistic, and I’m excited to be helping Hologic get this message out to women everywhere.

What is the single most important thing you think women should know about breast cancer screening?

We want women everywhere to know that early detection saves lives—it’s that simple. It’s the most important thing you can do for yourself while we continue to search for a cure.

I was very lucky because a mammogram caught my breast cancer early, and it made a huge difference in my treatment plan and chance at survival. Since I was diagnosed 10 years ago, there have been incredible advancements in screening technologies, like the Genius exam, which is proven to detect cancer 15 months earlier than conventional mammograms. It’s available in all 50 states, so women across the country can take advantage of this more accurate mammogram.