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Shaun Robinson Discusses How to Prioritize Your Health During Cancer Treatment

Women tend to take care of everyone else before themselves, and because they are often busy taking care of everyone else, they tend to put their own health last. In a recent episode of Susan G. Komen’s Real Pink Podcast, we sat down with, Shaun Robinson, an Emmy award-winning journalist, author and philanthropist. Hear what she had to say about prioritizing health and helping yourself and others during breast cancer treatment.

Adam Walker: Can you tell us why encouraging women to make their health a priority is so important to you?

Shaun Robinson: We as women are caretakers, we are nurturers and we tend to put everybody else before ourselves. That is detrimental to our own health because we have to be strong. We have to be in good physical [and] emotional form to take care of others. The concept of putting ourselves first, it’s just so foreign to us. If you tell a woman, “You come first,” she almost physically recoils at that thought. But the fact of the matter is, you have to put yourself first, because we are the caretakers, we are the nurturers of those in our family. So, in order to be in the emotional and physical place that we need to be to take care of others, we have to take care of ourselves first.

AW: It reminds me of like when you’re flying on an airplane and they say, “Hey, if the oxygen masks come down, take care of yourself first and then take care the person sitting next to you.” Because if you can’t breathe, you can’t help the person next to you.

SR: Absolutely. That is so very true. 


AW: A recent survey by Healthy Her revealed that while 83% women are happy to be managing their family’s health, a staggering 66% said they felt only somewhat in control of their own health. What can you share about women to help them feel more empowered about their own health?

SR: If you have time to take care of everybody else, you have time to take care of yourself. I know healthcare is a big issue today and many women may feel that they can’t afford to put their health first by going to the doctor, but here, preventative care is much cheaper than treatment. That means going for your regular mammograms, that means going to your doctor and talking about your body. What changes that you have noticed in your body? … When we talk about breast cancer, we’re talking about a disease that so many advances have been made in recent years and there is no reason to lose another woman to breast cancer. So I like to tell women—and that’s just one of the things—that you have to be open and honest about what’s happening in your body and share that information with your doctor.