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October: Three things you can do to take control over your own health.

Posted by Alexis Ring on

This month’s three things, courtesy of Dena Smith, author of Leo with Cancer


As a breast cancer survivor and beauty blogger, I often get asked a lot of questions about how I knew that I was sick. The answer to that is complicated, but not intimidating. There are really three key things that I think everyone should do - regardless of gender, risk for cancer or age - to feel in control of their own bodies and well being.

1) Know your own body well enough to know when something changes.

Most people see a doctor maybe once every two years. You see and inhabit your body everyday. Whether it’s a twinge in your back, or a mole changing shape, or a lump in your breast, you can’t rely on anybody else to notice these things. You are in control of QA.

It starts with paying attention to your body when it's feeling good. That may be the hardest part. Often times we only notice when the car isn't running right, not how the car feels when it's operating at peak performance. Yes, you are the car. 

It can be really hard to diagnose an issue, and figure out the best way to treat it, if you don't know what it's supposed to feel like in the first place. All it takes is a little inward attention.

2) If you find something, say something.

Trust me, I know going to the doctor sucks. It’s scary. What if it’s so much worse? But also, what if it’s better? What if it’s easily fixable? What if by addressing the issue now you make it so that it’s about a million times easier to fix than if you keep trucking along acting like everything is fine?

9 times out of 10 it will be the latter. And if it's that first scary one you're still better off going sooner than later.

If you dread going to the doctor that much, find another doctor. Find someone you trust. Find someone who will listen to you, because you are the expert.

3) Be nice to yourself.

If you have a cold, rest. If your (fill in the blank) hurts skip that workout. If you’re tired, sleep. Nothing good ever comes from being unkind to your body. It does a lot of work for you, it deserves to be treated well.

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