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Tulsa Cancer Survivor Talks About Decision To Be Proactive About Her Health

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LeeAnn Potter is a business woman, a wife, a mother of two boys, and a cancer survivor--not once but three times. LeeAnn Potter is a business woman, a wife, a mother of two boys, and a cancer survivor--not once but three times.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Earlier this year, people were shocked to learn that actress Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy, even though she did not have breast cancer.

She did it to reduce her risk. That may seem extreme to most, but it made perfect sense to a lot of breast cancer patients.

LeeAnn Potter is a business woman, a wife, a mother of two boys, and a cancer survivor--not once but three times. She was diagnosed once with thyroid cancer and twice with breast cancer.

"I've been very lucky that my prognoses has always been good and I try to focus on the good things, too. It was always caught early and I was never afraid that I might not be here, because they always gave me a good prognosis, but I just had struggles in other ways," Potter said.

For that reason, Potter opted to have a complete mastectomy.

"After receiving a cancer diagnosis three times in four years, I just did not want to go through that again, so I gook as many steps as I could to prevent it and decided with a bilateral mastectomy," she said.

That may seem extreme, but Potter said it was a personal decision that gives her peace of mind and eliminates the risk of it coming back.

It's similar reasoning to what Angelina Jolie did earlier this year. Jolie had her breasts removed to minimize her risk. Doctors had told her, based on family history and other factors, that she had an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer.

Jolie said she wanted to be proactive and underwent a preventative double mastectomy with reconstruction.

That is not necessarily the decision for all women, but Potter said she certainly understands it.

And now she's hoping, by sharing her story, others might benefit.

"Can I do something positive or inspire someone to be proactive with their health? I almost feel like it was what I was meant to do," Potter said.

Potter also feels she's meant to be a part of the Komen Race For The Cure. She and her family and friends put together a team and plan on being there again this year.

She said she's encouraged when she sees all those survivors on race day, and she realizes that this journey has strengthened her in ways she never imagined.

"I think good things can come from bad circumstances, and it's just a matter of how you learn from them and grow from them to make you a better person," Potter said.

Even though the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure isn't for six weeks, folks are already signing up.

You can start your own team or you can join LeAnne's. Find out how here.

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