An Olympic Inspiration

August 7, 2012

With the Olympics going in full force, we often become caught up in the excitement and competition in the games. We sometimes don’t think about the Olympians of the past and concentrate solely on the current year’s stars.

I was recently approached by Heather from The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog, who had the chance to interview former Olympic star Shannon Miller. A part of the “Magnificent 7” gymnastics team at the ’96 Olympic games in Atlanta, Miller was diagnosed with a form of ovarian cancer in January of 2011.

Photo courtesy of The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog

As a woman who a) has had cancer in her family and b) has has ovarian issues in the past, this interview struck particularly close to home. While I would love for you to read the article, I know that many of you may not click through. I wanted to share with you all the most important part of the article for me:

“You had no symptoms preceding your diagnosis. What would you tell a young girl, or any female for that matter, who did not see the necessity in regular medical check ups and screenings?

Get your annual exams and screenings. Know your families medical history. Even if you feel great, this is a good time to create a baseline with your physician so that if something seems off you’ll both know. In my case, I had no symptoms at all. I almost skipped my exam. I went anyway and they found a baseball sized tumor – I had no idea!! Get your exams on time, every time.

It’s so important for us to take care of our bodies. I urge each of your regularly visit a physician of some sort to keep tabs on your health, no matter what the case may be. You might be the most healthy person alive, like Miller, an Olympian of all things. But as we’ve heard so many times, cancer does not discriminate. One of my favorite bloggers, Megan, is a survivor of ovarian cancer as well. (Check out her blog, she’s HILARIOUS and so inspiring!)

If you get anything out of this short post today, I hope that you read the article and understand why we need to keep ourselves healthy and take preventative actions to protect ourselves from finding out too late.

Have you had to deal with a situation like this? Do you think it’s important to be regularly screened?

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