Breast cancer survivor Erica Langley returns to bodybuilding competitions and has won multiple medals and placed first.
Langley was pursuing her dream of becoming a bodybuilder when breast cancer diagnosis halted her plans.
According to UChicago Medicine, the discovery of the lump in her breast after a workout in 2018, shocked her and let it slide at first thinking she had just pulled a muscle.
However, when the lump didn’t go away, after getting examined, the local health clinic confirmed a detection of HER2-positive cancer in two locations in her left breast.
According to the team at UChicago Medicine, they created an aggressive and comprehensive treatment plan for Langley to see if she had an inherited mutation that put her at risk for cancer.
“When a young woman gets breast cancer, we always want to ask why. For Erica, having cancer at a young age signaled that she needed to undergo genetic testing. And it turns out, she had a well-known mutation that puts her at higher risk for breast cancer and other cancers, said Olwen Hahn, MD, a Chicago Medicine oncologist.
Langley underwent 20 weeks of chemotherapy and double mastectomy in April 2019, intravenous targeted therapy, and reconstructive surgery on both breasts.
According to Langley, she was 50 pounds heavier and feeling overwhelmed and weakened by the treatments when she returned to the gym to resume bodybuilding training in November 2020
She also shared how she was struggling mentally during those times.
“Mentally, I still really wanted to do this, but my body was struggling. After the first few workouts, I didn’t think I’d ever be competition-ready. So, I made up my mind that I was going to do this. I decided I wasn’t just going to survive cancer; I was going to thrive,” said Langley.
Moreover, her trainer, Daniel “Bolo” Young, continued to support her while her doctors continued checking up on her to ensure that one of her natural supplements interfered with her cancer medication,
In May 2021, she entered two bodybuilding competitions, winning multiple medals and placing first in one of the categories.