If you’re a man over 40, a simple blood test can determine if you’re at risk for prostate cancer, the leading cancer in men in Alberta.
The Prostate Cancer Centre’s “Man Van” will be in Ponoka on March 14, to help men, who are typically thought of as being reluctant to see a doctor, be proactive about their health.
The Man Van will be hosted for the fifth consecutive year by the Ponoka Elks, a Man Van community partner.
The van will be parked at the Ponoka Elks Hall, located at 5901 Hwy. 2A, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 14. No appointment is necessary.
The Elks started hosting the Man Van in 2015 after being approached by the Man Van coordinator.
“Our first time holding the van, I believe we had around 40 men checked,” said Jim Klinger, Elks chair officer.
Klinger added that a lot of the men have since come back to be rechecked and have spread the word to their friends, letting them know how simple the process is.
“Since then there have been more men coming and it has increased every year — last year we had 84.”
Klinger says the Elks decided to support the Man Van because it’s an important initiative and a good way to give support to the community of Ponoka, especially considering how prevalent prostate cancer is.
“Most men don’t want to go to a doctor to be checked,” he said.
“You don’t have to take time off work. It is just a simple blood test and then if the test results show that there may be a problem you are notified to see your family doctor.”
The Man Van will be offering baseline PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood tests to men over the age of 40 and blood pressure, blood glucose, a stress check questionnaire and waist circumference measurements to all men over 18, according to a press release from the Prostate Cancer Centre.
Measurements for BMI, blood pressure and blood glucose can help men determine a man’s overall health status and allow health practitioners to catch, and possibly reverse, potential problems early on.
Testing for PSA can help in the early detection of prostate cancer, as the level of PSA in the blood is a factor in predicting a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer.
PSA is a protein produced by the prostate and released in small amounts to the bloodstream.
One in seven men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime.
In Canada, men’s health is often called the “silent crisis,” says the release, as men are more likely to avoid preventative care, delay treatment or pay less attention to health information.
The Prostate Cancer Centre, a non-profit organization established in 1999, is focused on the early detection and treatment of prostate cancer and prostate-related disease.
“We support excellence in prostate cancer awareness, education, diagnosis, treatment, advocacy and research with the ultimate goal of eliminating advanced prostate cancer,” states the release.
For more information on the Man Van program, visit getchecked.ca.