CANSA Service Spotlight – Prof Michael Herbst (Health Specialist Consultant)
Prof Michael Herbst, a cancer survivor himself, has been with CANSA for 14 years and is currently the Health Specialist Consultant responsible for writing and collating CANSA’s Fact Sheets, as well as, sharing his knowledge and experience regarding various cancers with colleagues and the public through interviews, webinars, health talks and tele counselling.
An integral staff member, Prof Michael, says that he feels privileged to work for CANSA however, the hardest part of his job though, is being honest about the possible ‘worst case scenario outcome’ while counselling a cancer patient.
With qualifications in Professional Nursing, Nursing Education, Health Studies (D Litt et Phil), Arts and Science (MA) and Occupational Health Prof Herbst is wealth of knowledge relating to cancer and care.
When asked about how a healthy lifestyle relates to lowering the cancer risk, he shared stated that, “A healthy lifestyle can help one feel better and live better. Leading a balanced lifestyle makes it pretty easy to make a couple of small changes that can steer one in the direction of improved wellbeing. And once one makes one change, that success can motivate one to continue to make more positive shifts and to share that with others. Improving one’s health leads to benefits for one’s body, one’s mind and mental health. It also benefits one’s wallet, and even the environment. It improves chances of longevity, and it is easier to track unwanted changes in one’s body which can lead to early diagnosis of cancer, early treatment and a greater chance of getting better and being healthy again.”
Prof Herbst recommends keeping a Wellness Diary which has the following benefits – provides time to relax and clear one’s mind, focus on goals, makes one feel more positive, provides evidence of progress (or lack of progress) as one goes along, keeps a record of possible ups and downs and how one ended up a better person, provides opportunity to look back on one’s personal growth and see how far one has come and helps one to see the ‘bigger picture’ of life.