Mother-Of-One Successfully Took On Bodybuilding Following Kidney Cancer Diagnosis


Annamarya Scaccia became a bodybuilder following surgery, focused on watching her son grow up.

The sport of bodybuilding has been used in many ways by many different people. Whether you are competing professionally or looking to begin a career in the sport, it can be done by anyone with dedication to fitness. Over the last three years, mother-of-one Annamayra Scaccia used bodybuilding to get back into fitness.

Scaccia, who trained as a kickboxer for years, was diagnosed with kidney cancer on Sept. 30, 2020. At the time, she did not know what type of cancer she had or the severity of it. The doctors shared that she would need a nephrectomy, which is a procedure to remove part of the kidney.

At the time of her diagnosis, Scaccia was focused on her son, according to The U.S. Sun.

“I was terrified because I didn’t know if my worst fear would come true, that I wouldn’t be able to watch my son grow up…He was frightened of losing me and clinging to me wherever we went.”

Just two months before her diagnosis, Scaccia went to the doctor for a routine checkup but the creatine levels in her kidneys was a concern. An ultrasound discovered a five-centimeter mass on her left kidney. The doctor found it to be cancerous and could have been growing for close to five years.

Scaccia had been training six days a week for two hours a day to continue her career as a kickboxer. She has plans of competing in Muay Thai fights. After undergoing surgery and recovery for six months, Scaccia decided to switch gears to bodybuilding.

Annamarya Scaccia’s Journey Into Bodybuilding

Doctors revealed that Scaccia had Stage 1 chromophore renal cell carcinoma. The surgery was a success and Scaccia was able to recover over six months. After that, she continued her love for fitness but in a different way.

Scaccia took her time ramping up exercises but was able to get on stage to compete as a natural bodybuilder. Once she was healthy enough to go full force in the gym, she would spend three hours a day working on her physique.

READ MORE: Mother And Fitness Enthusiast Shows Off Shredded Abs Just Weeks After Giving Birth

In November 2021, Scaccia competed in her first bodybuilding show as a Figure competitor. One year later, she competed in two shows before taking a break from competition. Scaccia plans to return to the stage in 2024 but there is no timetable yet.

“My cancer didn’t take me out, that my cancer didn’t take away fitness from me, that I am more than my diagnosis.”

Scaccia is now working as an ambassador for the Kidney Cancer Association. She is also a certified fitness and nutrition coach. Scaccia continues to be a role model for those in and out of the fitness industry. She wants to show others that people with her condition can do what they put their minds to, including competing in bodybuilding.

“I want to make fitness fit for people like me, who operate in that grey space of nutrition…I want to open up the world of natural bodybuilding and make it more inclusive and welcoming of people like me.”

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Greg Patuto
Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation,, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.