A Health Screening Saved My Life

My Journey with Prostate Cancer Treatment

While it’s a generalization to say “men don’t go to the doctor,” there’s also some truth in that old cliché.  I read the Cleveland Clinic’s 2016 MENtion it Survey, which said 40 percent of men don’t get annual checkups, and even if we fear a serious medical condition, only 42 percent of us actually go to the doctor. I, myself, had not seen a physician for 15 years. 

But, now that I’ve been treated for prostate cancer, I can say I didn’t fully understand the value— or the necessity— for annual physicals.

I had plenty of reasons to justify my avoidance. I regularly do high intensity exercise, Beach Body Insanity workouts and kettlebell workouts.  I enjoy hiking around the White Mountains and playing golf—and can’t remember the last time I had a cold.  Prior to this diagnosis, when I got a physical, the doctor even told me, “You’re in great shape. See you in ten years!”

In October 2016, I received a company email inviting me to have a preventative health evaluation that would give me a discount on next year’s healthcare premium.

Because of my good health, I didn’t worry about the exam and went through a battery of blood tests–including the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test used for screening prostate cancer. Something told me to take that one.

Everything was fine with the exception of the test results showing my PSA at 4, the high end of the range. It took another three months before I showed the results to a doctor who repeated the test. This time my PSA was up to 4.3.

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