‘Most Unlikely of Friendships’: Real Housewives Star Kyle Richards Calls Singer Morgan Wade One of Her ‘Best Friends’ — The Power of Support Goes a Long Way for the Cancer Pre-vivor (2024)

“Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Kyle Richards, 55, has been one of the biggest cheerleaders for country singer Morgan Wade, 29, in recent years. The two have become good friends, and as Wade recently underwent a prophylactic mastectomy to reduce her cancer risk, added support goes a long way.

“I can tell you that she is absolutely one of my best, best friends in the world,” Richards told Andy Cohen.

After Wade shared an Instagram post about the double mastectomy and breast reconstruction she received to help reduce her cancer risk, Richards offered support by sending her a heart emoji.

‘Most Unlikely of Friendships’: Real Housewives Star Kyle Richards Calls Singer Morgan Wade One of Her ‘Best Friends’ — The Power of Support Goes a Long Way for the Cancer Pre-vivor (1)

Richards and Wade have shared numerous social media posts showcasing their friendship. Richards has appeared in a music video for Wade and noted attending several of her concerts. Wade was nominated for the Academy of Country Music Awards last year and is known for hits like “Take Me Away,” “Fall in Love With Me,” and making appearances on “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

“I stalked Morgan Wade on IG after listening to her music while driving solo from Utah to Colorado while making House Wives of the North Pole, and today we met up in person for the first time. The most unlikely of friendships, some may think, but kinship knows no boundaries,” Richards captioned her social media post.

The last 12 months have been filled with emotions for Wade; thus, the added support surely has been helpful. Last year, she learned she was a carrier of the BRCA gene mutation, which increases your chances of getting breast and ovarian cancer.

To reduce her chances of cancer, she underwent a prophylactic or preventative mastectomy, which is an operation where the breast tissue is removed to prevent cancer from developing in the future.

“Risk-reducing mastectomies are an operation where we take women at, usually, very high-risk for getting breast cancer for genetic mutation carriers, who are the ones at the highest risk; there’s unfortunately only one way to actually prevent breast cancer,” Dr. Elisa Port, Chief of Breast Surgery at Mount Sinai Health System, tellsSurvivorNet.

Export Resources on Breast Cancer Treatment

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  • Will I Look Older After Breast Cancer Treatment?

Decision-Making Around a Mastectomy

Having your breasts removed can be an overwhelming and emotional experience. Among the things that weighed heavy on Wade’s mind was the mastectomy’s ability to limit her regular exercise routines.

When a woman decides to have a mastectomy, several factors go into that decision. Among things to consider is whether to have breast-conserving surgery such as a lumpectomy. These decisions should be made alongside your doctor by openly and candidly discussing risks vs. benefits.

‘Most Unlikely of Friendships’: Real Housewives Star Kyle Richards Calls Singer Morgan Wade One of Her ‘Best Friends’ — The Power of Support Goes a Long Way for the Cancer Pre-vivor (2)

“A double mastectomy typically takes about two hours for the cancer part of the operation, the removing of the tissue,”Dr. Elisa Port, Chief of Breast Surgery at Mount Sinai Health System, tells SurvivorNet. “The real length, the total length of the surgery, can often depend on what type of reconstruction [a patient] has.”

WATCH: What Happens During a Double Mastectomy

Other factors that weigh into the decision to get a mastectomy are the size and features of the tumor and your family history. However, the gravity of your decision comes into full view, especially if you choose to get a mastectomy and remove both of your breasts.

Some women decide to have their breasts reconstructed and have implants put in right after the mastectomy, while others don’t have reconstruction at all.

Dr. Port added that most women do opt to have some reconstruction. The length of these surgeries can vary a great deal. When implants are used, the procedure can take two to three hours (so the total surgery time would be around five hours). There is also the option to take one’s own tissue (usually from the belly area) and transfer it into the breast area during reconstruction.

Understanding the BRCA Gene Mutation

The country music artist underwent testing for the BRCA gene mutation, which increases a person’s risk for breast cancer. The tests revealed she had the mutation.

BRCA is comprised of two genes: BRCA1 and BRCA2. Both BRCA1 and BRCA2 contain proteins that work as tumor suppressors.

They help repair damaged DNA and ensure the stability of each cell’s genetic material.

When either of these genes is altered, that mutation can mean its protein product does not function properly. The result of a nonfunctioning protein means damaged DNA may not be repaired correctly.

WATCH: Understanding BRCA Gene Mutation

BRCA1 and BRCA2can increase the risk of female breast and ovarian cancers.

Several genetic tests are available to determine if you have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. Hereditary genetic testing is usually done with a blood or saliva test.

If you discover that you do have a mutation, there are options available to manage your cancer risk, which include:

  • Enhanced screenings
  • Prophylactic (risk-reducing) surgery, which involves removing as much of the “at-risk” tissue as possible
  • Chemoprevention, or the use of medicines to reduce the risk of cancer.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

If you’re facing the option of having a mastectomy, here are some questions to consider asking your doctor:

  • What can I do to prepare for a double mastectomy?
  • What happens before and after the procedure?
  • For reconstruction, what are the benefits of using implants over my tissue and vice versa?
  • What should I know about implants? Should I opt for preventative surgery?
  • What will recovery look like after the procedure?
  • What are the benefits of a watch & wait approach vs. preventative surgery?
  • What kind of surveillance is required after the surgery?

Learn more about SurvivorNet's rigorous medical review process.

Kavontae Smalls is a writer and reporter for SurvivorNet. Read More

‘Most Unlikely of Friendships’: Real Housewives Star Kyle Richards Calls Singer Morgan Wade One of Her ‘Best Friends’ — The Power of Support Goes a Long Way for the Cancer Pre-vivor (2024)
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