Cancer affects most people in one way or another, directly or indirectly. It can target anyone at anytime, and according to the Canadian Cancer Society, it is the leading cause of death amongst Canadians at 30 per cent.
The best way to combat cancer is to find it as early as possible. Prostate cancer accounts for only 10 per cent of all cancer-related deaths in Canada, despite being one of the most commonly diagnosed types.
The conversation has started around early prostate cancer detection, thanks to initiatives like the Prostate Cancer Centre’s Man Van.
FortisAlberta hosted the Man Van on June 4, and 44 men came out for a blood test to not only check for cancer, but to also raise awareness about the importance of going for frequent check-ups.
Men over the age of 40 are targeted by the Prostate Cancer Centre, and instead of the men coming for a check-up, the Man Van goes to them. A half a teaspoon of blood is all that is needed to check for prostate-specific antigens (PSAs), much less of a commitment than the digital rectal exam the disease is renowned for being associated with.
Though the detection of PSAs can mean other things besides prostate cancer, a high amount in the blood sample would result in those administering the test to suggest the patient see a doctor for further testing.
The van has been in operation since 2012 and is motoring around Alberta all summer, with stops in other communities such as Airdrie, Okotoks and various places in Calgary.