Early Detection Saved My Life
Daymond John Shares a Message of Hope and Awareness
By Jeanene Dunn, OHM Staff
For the last 13 years, Our Health Matters is on a mission to get readers to embrace prevention and healthier lifestyles. We have written countless articles over the years stressing the importance of getting annual health screenings and talking to your doctor about your health concerns.
When I met Daymond John last year, I knew his story was one we wanted to tell our readers. That is why we are excited to share our conversation with Daymond about his triumph over cancer. He’s on a mission, too — to spread the message of awareness about your health and the health of your loved ones.
—Ruth Ramsey, Publisher, Our Health Matters
Cancer does not discriminate,
and it can strike at any time in your life. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how healthy you may think you are, or how successful you are. Just ask Daymond John, entrepreneur, bestselling author, motivational speaker and investor on ABC’s Shark Tank. Simply put, John is a very busy and successful businessman.
One year ago, John was undergoing treatment for thyroid cancer. This year, he is cancer free, healthy and telling everyone to go to the doctor and have themselves checked out because it could save their lives.
John is adamant about the need to get regular health screenings. “If you need a colonoscopy, endoscopy, pap smear or screening for diabetes or heart disease, it is important to see your doctor annually,” he says. “It is also very important to know your family history.”
“Men can be stubborn about going to the doctor, but I am here to tell them all – especially African-American men – to not wait until it is too late.”
Even though John got yearly physicals, a friend asked him if he had taken an executive physical. “I had never heard of an executive physical,” John explains. “I learned more about the executive physical and decided to have it done.”
John said that the physical took two days and involved a battery of tests. Two weeks later, he received his results and the report indicated that there was a nodule on his thyroid. After consulting with his doctor, John followed the recommendation that he have surgery to have the thyroid removed. He learned a few weeks after the surgery that the removed nodule was cancerous – stage 2.
Although thyroid cancer is considered slow-moving, John believes that early detection played a role in the outcome, because he had no symptoms. He says the only symptom he may have felt was sluggishness.
“My cancer was discovered by accident. I had no symptoms,” he explains. “I could have had a more serious health issue had the disease progressed to other parts of my body, such as my lymph nodes.”
“In my case, I didn’t know I had cancer until it was gone.”
John’s post-surgery treatment involved taking Synthroid®, a synthetic thyroid replacement drug and going for regular check-ups to make sure he remained cancer free. It is important to note that John still has to follow up with his doctor. “The challenge in the beginning was ensuring that I received the proper dose of medication. Once the dosage was regulated, I had (and continue to have) no problems,” says John. Dr. Kepal Patel of NYU Langone Medical Center, who worked with him to find the proper dosage. John has more energy now, but despite his busy schedule and many responsibilities, he makes time to hit the gym.
Annual Check-ups Do Matter
Many don’t have the resources to get an executive physical, but John wants you to know that seeing your doctor is important. He suggests using the time with your doctor to ask questions and tell him or her, if there is an issue with your health that may warrant a closer look. “If you don’t feel right even after a physical, keep asking questions and keep pressing to find out what may be wrong,” John says.
Remember that a routine physical exam can detect high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and other diseases in the early stages.
“I don’t want to lose another friend or loved one because they waited until there was a problem to see their doctor,” says John.
His final message:
“Encourage and educate yourself, encourage others, get early detection and help save lives.”
About Daymond John
Daymond John changed the game in the fashion industry back in the 1990s. He started the FUBU brand on a shoestring budget and grew the company into a multi-billion-dollar business. John is an innovator, entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, Shark investor and motivational speaker. DaymondJohn.com