• Leigh Gerstenberger

Self-Care is the Best Care




As the year comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to

encourage you to take care of yourself. While this seems

like an obvious statement that doesn’t need much

explanation, I want to simply challenge you to pay attention

to your health and listen to your body.


As many of you know, my wife and I have both had major

health issues over the past year. In my case I am a prostate

cancer survivor and she continues to recover from major

surgery following a severe attach of diverticulitis.


That being said, both of these conditions were festering in

our bodies for years and were only identified and eradicated

due to regular attention to our heath and the process of

having annual physical examinations.


In my case, I had been having my PSA levels checked

through a simple blood test annually. Even though my PSA

levels were rising ever so slightly, with constant due

diligence when cancer cells were finally identified, the

surgery was scheduled before the cancer could spread.


Unfortunately, I’ve come to know of too many people who

don’t take the time to schedule an annual physical (because

they feel fine) only to learn that when symptoms start

manifesting that the underlying condition they’re dealing with

has spread making it more difficult for it to be successfully

addressed.


Its counter intuitive that in a society where we don’t hesitate

to get the oil checked and tires rotated on our cars as part of

the routine maintenance process that so many overlook their

annual physical exams because they feel fine.


Men, if you have not had a PSA blood test done in the last

year, please schedule one and while you’re at it, ask your

physician about a fecal occult blood test as a way to check

for the pre-indicators of polyps or colon cancer between

colonoscopies (that should be done every 10 years,)


Ladies don’t overlook the importance of having an annual

mammogram and Pap test. A close family member of mine

went years without getting an annual gynecological exam

and ended up being diagnosed with ovarian cancer which

took her life at age 55.

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