Ann Romney discusses her struggle with cancer, says it 'opened my heart up'

“You just fight these battles, you don’t fight them alone you fight them with friends and families and you move forward from them,” she said.

Romney has referred to her struggles with multiple sclerosis and cancer in the past while defending herself from criticism that she lacked foundational knowledge about the economy due to being a stay-at-home mom. 

"Maybe I haven't struggled as much financially as much as some people have but I can tell you and promise you that I have had struggles in my life," Romney told Fox News last month. "I would love to have people understand that Mitt and I have compassion for people who are struggling, and that's why we're running."

In the interview Thursday, Romney focused on her past with the disease, encouraging other women who are fighting or fearing a diagnosis. Romney was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in January 2009. She went through surgery and radiation but not chemotherapy, because of the “stage zero” diagnosis. Romney, who has a family history with cancer, credited the “wonderful” breast cancer research and high level of awareness in the United States.

She said she holds her breath for her annual screening but is currently cancer free.

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