In the September issue of Shape, cover model Brooke Burke-Charvet opens up about her battle with thyroid cancer and her inspirational road to recovery.

Though Burke-Charvet has had Hashimoto's disease (the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States) for more than a decade and has taken synthetic thyroid medicine every day for years, her cancerous lump was discovered during a routine check-up.

"My takeaway from this experience-and something I'm really vocal about-is care for yourself, especially as you get into your 40s. Always get your annual physicals and mammograms," she says.

After taking time off to heal after her complete thyroidectomy in late 2012, Burke-Charvet got right back into her exercise routine as soon as her doctor gave her the go-ahead. "It's the best cure for stress that I know of," she says of her fitness regimen, which includes SoulCycle and teaching Booty Burn classes.

Though the entrepreneur, actress, and mother of four continues to deal with the challenges of hypothryroidism like adjusting to changes in hormone and energy levels, she boasts that she's feeling better than ever, and has a pretty amazing outlook on life post-cancer: "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 check up. Now I feel like I'm beginning the best part of my life."

For more on Burke-Charvet's recovery and her abs workout, pick up the September issue of Shape, on newsstands now!