Early detection is the best way to beat prostate cancer and it’s as simple as a blood test.
For men over 40, prostate cancer will affect one out of every seven Albertans and a brief stop at the Man Van on March 25 could help in ensuring the treatable disease in detected early. The van will be at the Ponoka Elks Hall, alongside Highway 2A at 59 Avenue, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to provide the simple Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test with no appointment necessary.
“Most men are not going to the doctor or being proactive about their health,” said Ken Rabb, Man Van program manager.
“The PSA test is a small amount of blood and literally takes a couple of minutes.”
The Man Van, operated by the non-profit Prostate Cancer Centre in Calgary, began serving rural areas of the province just five years ago and can take upwards of 20 samples each hour. Last year saw a record number go through the Ponoka stop, with 72 men taking the time to be screened.
“It was great and the staff were certainly busy,” added Rabb, “It was a huge success and definitely among the top 10 visits the van made last year.”
The Man Van is the only mobile testing program of its kind in the country and is not only meant to increase early detection rates, but also heighten awareness of how important this testing is.
“In my experience why men not get tested, a lot feel they are bulletproof and there is no reason to go to the doctor. They feel good and if there is nothing broken or bleeding then there isn’t a need to see a doctor,” Rabb stated.
“But that is exactly why the PSA test is needed, because you can have prostate cancer even if you feel good, so you can be living with it and not even know. And if you wait until the symptoms show, the cancer will have developed and spread to the point where it may not be treatable.”
The Prostate Cancer Centre started in 1999 to support the awareness, education, diagnosis, advocacy, treatment and research of prostate cancer with the ultimate goal of eliminating advanced forms of the disease. More than 5,000 men annually are tested through the Man Van program and the Centre is operated solely on generous donations from the public and corporate sponsors.
For other Man Van location stops and more information about the Centre, visit www.prostatecancercentre.ca.