Former Real Housewives of Orange County cast member Tamra Judge is doing her part to raise awareness and funds for cancer.
And it’s a cause that’s very close to her heart, having battled skin cancer over the years.
In 2017, Tamra was diagnosed with stage 1 melanoma and quickly took the necessary steps to treat the disease. By 2018 her biopsy came back cancer-free.
She’s since become a vocal advocate for the American Cancer Society and uses her massive platform to encourage fans and followers to donate to the ACS.
Tamra talks about her past cancer diagnosis
During a chat with US Weekly, the 53-year old reflected on the moment three years ago when she first got the news about her cancer diagnosis.
“I was actually filming in 2017,” explains Tamra.
“We had some off time, so decided to get a massage in my room. So the masseuse told me, ‘Oh, you have this little tiny black dot.’ And it was literally on my butt, like, the side of my butt. And she goes, ‘I think if I were you, I would get that checked out.’”
The Real Housewives of Orange County OG took her masseuse’s words seriously and got the tiny black dot checked out by her dermatologist.
Tamra says, about a week after doing the biopsy, she got the call saying, “It’s melanoma.”
“I’d never heard those words before,” says the reality TV personality, admitting that although the melanoma was treatable, she “started bawling” upon hearing the news.
Tamra has a word of advice for fans
Tamra admits that she would not have even known about her skin cancer if it wasn’t for her masseuse.
“I probably would have never, ever even knew it was there because I am not turning around and looking back there,” she says.
“It didn’t hurt. There was nothing; it wasn’t raised. There was no reason for me to think there was something wrong … But it was just going through the process and then just thinking, ‘OK, my body is failing me. I actually have melanoma.’”
Furthermore, the mother-of-four has some words of encouragement for other people battling cancer and other diseases.
The former RHOC alum admits, “It’s a very scary time to be fighting any kind of disease right now where you need medical treatment … I just think that you just have to stay strong, trust your doctor, be persistent, get second opinions.”
And there are actions that fans can take to help in the fight against cancer as well.
“Definitely donate,” says Tamra. “They can volunteer, they can fundraise. There’s a lot of things that they can do.”
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.