Brooke Burke-Charvet has come back from cancer stronger than ever.
"It's crazy that not long ago I had cancer and now I'm cancer-free, and that might not be the case if I hadn't gone for a checkup," the former "Dancing with the Stars" co-host, 42, told the September issue of Shape. "Now I feel like I'm beginning the best part of my life."
In late 2012, Burke discovered she had thyroid cancer. Despite seeing a doctor for over a decade for Hashimoto's disease, the most common cause of hypothyroidism, and taking synthetic thyroid medicine every day for years, Burke said the cancer was discovered during a routine physical.
"The condition wasn't even diagnosed by a thyroid doctor but during a regular checkup," Burke told the magazine. "They found a questionable lump. Then I got an ultra-sound and biopsies, and sure enough, it was cancer. But the prognosis was great."
"It's so important, when you get any alarming news, to do research, get a second opinion, and not panic," she added.
Since her thyroidectomy, Burke said she's been cancer free.
"They took it out, it's gone, and it's all good," she said.
Burke said she avoided the sun after her surgery and now has barely a scar. But she's still making adjustments to her thyroid medication.
"That was a little tricky, but that's one of the challenges with thyroid issues: figuring out the amount of Synthroid you need, getting your hormone levels right, and then making adjustments," she told Shape. "Having too much energy or not enough energy, and rolling through those changes - I'll continue to deal with that for a while."
Burke also said she returned to her regular exercise routine a few weeks after surgery.
"I started working out the day I was allowed to. That's just me. I feel better after my workout for a million reasons," Burke said.
Today she's in better shape than ever, she said.
In addition to promoting her new athletic-wear line, Caelum, Burke, who was replaced by Erin Andrews on "Dancing with the Stars" at the beginning of the year, has been doing more acting. She just finished a couple episodes of "Melissa & Joey," playing the mother of Joey's daughter.
"I'm committed to doing something more creative now," Burke said.
Her advice to other women following her life-changing year: "Care for yourself, especially as you get into your 40s. Always get your annual physicals and mammograms."