Meagan Good Hones in on Health and Wellness With Partnership to Promote Uterine Health (Exclusive)

Meagan Good is putting herself first. The 40-year-old Harlem star is in a phase of transition and transformation, one she says she's fully trusting the process and being intentional about every step of the way following her split from her husband of 9 years, DeVon Franklin. The actress is gearing up to film Season 2 of the Amazon Prime comedy drama, has a series of other acting and directing projects under her belt, a new swimwear collaboration with Matte Collection, and has sprung fully into the world of health and overall wellness. Her latest venture is being an advocate for women's health through a partnership with two cancer organizations that climaxed into the Spot Her
campaign. The campaign sets out to educate women on uterine cancer, specifically women of color.

Good had her own scare several years back that she admits shook her. Ahead of turning 40 in Oct. 2021, Good went on a full mental and physical health journey to prepare for her next and greatest decade. The Spot Her campaign has become one of Good's most meaningful passion projects and she says the first step is being one's own advocate and educating oneself on their body. 

PopCulture.com spoke with Good about the partnership, what her own health and wellness plan entails, and she even gave a glimpse into what to expect from the highly anticipated sequel, Shazam: Fury of the Gods, due out this year. Good was joined by Dr. Ginger J. Gardner, Chair of the Foundation for Women's Cancer, and Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Dr. Gardner spoke of the risk factors, importance of exams, and how to take control of one's own health. Watch the interview above and read the full transcript below. 

PC: I'm very excited to talk about this new campaign that you have partnered with, Spot Her. You have been very open about your journey to health and wellness ahead of turning 40, including going on a drinking hiatus. Did you really begin reeling in on your health when you had a uterine cancer scare? Could you take us through that whole ordeal?

MG: No – I can take you through the ordeal. For me it was really about coming up on 40 and realizing that things that I've experienced like that scare are the kind of things that can happen very, very easily to our bodies. And really wanting to be intentional about my education on my body, taking care of myself, going to the doctor, making sure I was having routine checkups and all of that. And so when the uterine scare happened, it was years ago, but at the time I remember thinking "This is crazy." It was like one day, everything can be fine, and the next day everything can be completely different. And I think we often think of ourselves as invincible and think that certain things could never happen to us until they do, or until they come close to happening.

And so for me when I went in and I sat with the doctor and he says, "So you have abnormal cells in your uterus." I was like, "What does that mean?" And he was like, "Well, we're going to have to do a biopsy, but they can develop into something cancerous." And it was scary because my track record – my family, both my grandmother's passed from cancer, my grandfather, my Aunt Sandy had just had a mastectomy. And so it was pretty traumatizing to hear that. 

Meagan Good experienced a uterine cancer scare. Now, she’s part of a campaign to help end the silence surrounding endometrial cancer (EC), the most common type of uterine cancer. Join Meagan & others in the pledge to #SpotHerforEC: www.spotherforec.com #ad

Posted by SHARE Cancer Support on Tuesday, March 29, 2022

But my takeaway was the gift that I was seeing my gynecologist regularly, that my mother was encouraging me, that we were able to get in front of it and be proactive instead of reactive. And that is what I want for every woman. Because when you look at the statistics of cancer in the uterus, it basically says that only 53% of Black women are diagnosed early, which means almost 50% of Black women are not diagnosed early.

And so I want everyone to have the opportunity to make sure that they're getting the proper care, that they're looking for the right things, that they know what to ask their doctors – they are just getting regular checkups to make sure that nothing is wrong, even if they feel like nothing is wrong. And not [to be] afraid to boldly talk about it if they do think something is wrong because this is our lives. And at the end of the day, I think this is a conversation that has a stigma attached to it. And we have to get rid of that.

Dr. Gardner, as far as uterine cancer, what makes women of color more at risk and susceptible to developing this form of cancer?

GG: Well, it's interesting, we are seeing some more aggressive cell types of endometrial cancer amongst women of color. So, it really even more goes to increasing awareness. Let's talk about this disease: This is the most common gynecologic tract cancers, endometrial cancer, [which is] cancer of the lining of the uterus. We need to be having this conversation together, raising awareness about symptoms, getting in to see your provider. an office biopsy can render the diagnosis. It can be an early opportunity for intervention and disease prevention or early stage and treatment. So there's a lot of opportunity here and I'm glad that we're here together.

And you mentioned that early detection is key. What are some of the warning signs that you can speak to in regards to maybe if you notice something, maybe you should go and get checked for it? And how likely is recovery? I know that Meagan spoke about the fact that 53% of women of color-

MG: 53% are diagnosed early.

GG: So, the symptoms for endometrial cancer most commonly is abnormal vaginal bleeding. So that could be heavy bleeding at the end of the month, that could be bleeding in between times during the middle of the month, that could be bleeding after the hormonal transition change of life of menopause. If it's a change in the bleeding pattern for a woman, that's the time. Go in, see your provider, ask, "Do I need a biopsy? Do I need an endometrial biopsy?" Yes, this could be fibroids. It could be a normal hormonal transition. It could be other benign things. But let's have the conversation about endometrial cancer. Abnormal bleeding is an early symptom and an opportunity to recognize and find this disease early when it's most treatable.

And for you, Meagan, what other changes did you put into place in order to adopt a healthier lifestyle? Obviously, I've watched some of your fitness videos; what were you doing in terms of your diet?

MG: Just being thoughtful about my diet, looking at what goes of my body, my chemistry, what my body reacts to. Obviously like you said, working out, but also like mental and emotional care. Praying, meditating, making sure I get proper rest, making sure that I'm just OK with having the conversations I need to have about my physical, mental, emotional health and saying no when I need to say no and being unapologetic in that need. And then again, making my appointments for my body. Making sure that I've educated myself and I know what things to expect potentially around my age, potentially with my race, potentially with all those things from your body type to your genetics – just asking questions and trying to continuously educate myself on how I can best take care of myself in general, but also unique to me.

And as far as what your fans can expect from your participation in this campaign, what exactly is your involvement? I know that you're doing some speaking and you're really an ambassador for the program, but if you could tell women how they can get involved and what else they can expect from the campaign and also what other resources are out there to them?

MG: I would say one of the biggest resources is encouraging people to go to Spot Her For EC because there's a plethora of knowledge and information there and education there. And one of the ways that people can proactively get involved is to join us for the virtual walk, because what we're doing is in essence, creating a massive movement where we are encouraging each other, we're creating community, we're having the conversations, we're exchanging information, ideas, we're holding each other accountable to the standard of going out there and making sure that we are seeing our doctors. We are making these appointments. We know what to ask when we're in the room. And so, when you do this walk, you can do it at home. You do it with your dog. You can do it with your friends, your family, sister, brother, whatever – but just make sure that you tag #SpotHerforEC so that you're directly connected to the community of everybody else who's participating. I'll start my next week. I'm super excited about that. And for every mile that you log in, Eisai is going to donate $1 to FORCE and to SHARE, which are cancer advocacy groups. And you can also sign up for your registration at spotherforec.com

And outside of your partnership with Spot Her, fans are so excited about all of the projects that you have going on. We know that you're acting in a few projects, and you're also directing, and comic book fans cannot wait for Shazam! Fury of the Gods. So what can you tell us about Darla's place in the new movie? And how important do you feel it is for viewers to see superheroes of color represented?

MG: That's everything because growing up, I didn't have a ton of examples. I remember right when Jada Pinkett, and Nia Long, and Halle Berry, and Angela Bassett – when all these women were first coming onto the scene and I was a child and it was like, "Wow, somebody who looks like me." And then it suddenly made me go, "Well I could be an actress." And then it suddenly made me go, "Well, I could be strong like that, or I could be vulnerable like that, or I could do this or I could do that." And it really shaped my world and how I saw myself and what I was capable of. And it really put in my mind that no matter where I grow up, no matter what certain people tried to tell me – rather it's neighbors or teachers that don't believe in me, or didn't support me – because I could see them, I knew what was available to me. And I could see my worth just in seeing them.

And so, I'm excited about Shazam because a big thing for me was like, I want little girls to know that the little Black girls, to see themselves in superheroes. And again, that's something in terms of Black female superheroes that we haven't had until the last couple years outside of Eartha Kitt playing Catwoman, you know? But other than that, we hadn't really had any consistent superhero to the point of where it was more of a norm and less of a big deal when you see it. 

And so with Darla, I think one of the reasons that she's a big deal for me is not because I'm playing here, but because she's actually a little girl. She's a little girl who is transformed into a woman's body, but she's still a little girl. So every little girl can really see themselves in her. And she's got like a good little heart, and she's a fun character to play and we're definitely a lot more in the movie this time. And that's all I can tell you because then I might disappear.

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Congratulations also on the success of Harlem. We know that you guys got Season 2. How are you hoping to see your character Camille develop?

MG: I want her to continue to find herself and continue to figure out what she wants and what that looks like. And to be open to her plans changing and see where that takes her. I definitely can relate to that. And so I just want to see, where she's going to go – what's she going to do. And I'm excited for her.  I'm just getting through the scripts now. We just started our table reads. So I'm reading it. I'm like, "Oh, oh, oh! OK."