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The Prostate Cancer Centre’s Men’s Health Initiative expands on mobile PSA testing by offering additional health measurements through the MAN VAN Program. These include: height and weight, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure and blood glucose. Following this testing, all men receive a 6 week follow up phone call from the Centre to check on any progress. Most men aged 18-50 only go to a health care provider when they feel “very ill”. The main health issues for men over the age of 40 are: cancer, (colon, skin, lung and prostate), hypertension, (elevated blood pressure, B/P), diabetes, (increased blood sugar) and obesity. Providing a man with the measurements for BMI, blood pressure and blood sugar could prevent future health problems and result in a happier man and a healthier workplace.

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Body Mass Index (BMI)

The easiest way to measure if men are under or over weight is the Body Mass Index, (BMI). It is the ratio of their weight to their height squared. This ratio takes into account the fact that taller people have more tissue or surface area than shorter people, and so they usually weigh more. BMI is not an exact measure, because it does not directly assess body fat. Muscle and bone are denser and therefor weigh more than fat. This would mean that an athlete or muscular man could have a high BMI, yet not have a lot of fat. However, the BMI is a very good measure of a man’s level of body fat.

The risk of developing health problems, including several chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, osteoarthritis and diabetes becomes more likely when your BMI is over 30 (using the  Health Canada guidelines). Research studies in large groups of people have shown that the BMI can be classified into ranges associated with health risk. There are four categories of BMI ranges in the Canadian weight classification system. These are:


Random Blood Sugar (RBS)

Blood glucose is a type of sugar (glucose) in your blood. Glucose comes from the food we eat and is the main source of energy used by the body. Insulin is a naturally produced hormone that helps the cells in your body use the glucose. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and released into the blood when the amount of sugar, (glucose) in the blood rises.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that can be debilitating if not treated. Uncontrolled diabetes leads to high blood sugar levels, which can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves.

For our Know your Numbers campaign we use Canadian Diabetes Association and Alberta Health Services guidelines.

Blood Pressure (B/P)

The pressure of the blood against the walls of the arteries. It changes with the strength of each heartbeat, the elasticity of the material walls, the blood volume and viscosity (thickness of the blood), and a mans’ overall health, age, and physical condition.

Category Systolic / Diastolic
Low risk 120 / 80
Medium risk 121-139 / 80-89
High risk 140+ / 90
For the Know Your Numbers campaign we use Heart and Stroke Foundation guidelines and Alberta Health Services.

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)

The prostate is a small gland about the size and shape of a

walnut. It is located under the bladder, in front of the rectum, and surrounds part of the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). If the prostate grows too large, the flow of urine can be slowed or stopped. The prostate makes, stores, and secretes fluid that forms part of the semen in which sperm are transported. PSA is a protein made by the prostate. Most PSA is found in semen, but some can be found in blood. A PSA test is a blood test that checks your PSA level.

High PSA levels provide a clue that a man may have prostate cancer. High levels may also be caused by cancer or non-cancerous conditions like infection, or an enlarged prostate. After treatment, your doctor will continue to monitor your PSA levels. If any prostate cancer cells remain after treatment they would cause a rise in the PSA.

Normal PSA Levels:

Age PSA Level
Up to age 49 0.00-2.50 µg/l
50-59 0.00-3.50 µg/l
60-69 0.00-4.50 µg/l
Age 70 and above 0.00-6.50 µg/l
*Reference range from Calgary lab Services.

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For more information on men’s health contact our clinical director Dave Bateman, RN, MPH at 403-943-8710 or go to: