Man Van looks to spread awareness on prostate cancer

By Taylor Chartrand
April 11, 2019 - 2:15pm

MEDICINE HAT, AB - Here in Alberta, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their life time.

If it's detected early enough, prostate cancer is 95% treatable and that is why the Prostate Cancer Centre's 'Man Van' will be stationed outside of London Drugs on Saturday.

The mobile-clinic is asking residents 40 and over to come and get checked out, as the chance for prostate cancer significantly increases with age.

After serving roughly 45,000 Albertans over the last ten-years, the Man Van has proven to be both helpful and popular not only across the province, but in Medicine Hat as well.

"The great thing about the Man Van is there's no appointment necessary," said Program Manager, Ken Rabb. "Men can show up between 10-2 and we'll make sure they get a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test done for free. We do expect it to be busy, Medicine Hat has always been a busy clinic. We've had upwards of 80-90 men come."

Typically, Rabb says people will associate the prostate cancer check with the rectal exam or the 'finger and glove test' and that will not be the case at the Man Van. 

At the mobile-clinic, Rabb says nurses will be on site testing for high protein levels in a mans blood, which can sometimes be a sign of prostate cancer.

"So, the PSA blood test is a half a teaspoon blood out of the vein, but we also suggest you do it in conjunction with the digital rectal exam or the 'finger and glove test'. We all recognize that it makes men cringe, but both tests work in conjunction with one another. A PSA will measure the protein, but a doctor can go in and feel for any irregularities. So, you're actually using two different tools and they're both looking for different things. Neither tool is 100% accurate. Together, they paint a more accurate picture."

After taking the PSA test, Rabb says men should receive their results in the mail in roughly 1 weeks time.

Rabb added that men over 40 should have this check done every five-years, while men over 50 should have the examination performed annually. 

The only exception to this recommendation is if your family has a history of prostate cancer. In this instance, men over 40 should be checked every year.

River Road to be closed Friday for flood protection training