LETHBRIDGE- Cattle prices, storms and seeding – they are all topics you expect to take in at Ag Expo. Among the tools, trades and technology, however, is a booth unlike the others. “A lot of farmers in the community will do maintenance on their tractors and their farm equipment and we are just trying to convince them to do maintenance on themselves as well, and make that a priority,” says Ken Rabb with the Prostate Cancer Centre. Farmers and ranchers are known for their rugged, no frills approach, but while that attitude is fine in the fields, it can be costly when it comes to cancer. That’s why Rabb has brought the Man Van to Ag Expo, a portable prostate testing lab.“We are here testing men over 40 years old for PSA blood tests. A PSA blood test stands for a Prostate Specific Antigen, and it can be used as an early indicator for prostate cancer,” adds Rabb. The Man Van at Exhibition Park was made possible by Fortis Alberta and Altalink. The two companies donated a booth for the van, giving more men a chance to be proactive about their prostates. “Prostate cancer affects one in six men, and boy, if we can encourage people to get tested, that’s a wonderful thing,” adds John Grove with Altalink. The Man Van is free, and men 40 or over are encouraged to roll of their sleeves and take the simple test, because not taking it could cost a lot more than time. “What it really comes down to is, if they get sick it will affect their families, their farm and their business,” adds Rabb. Organizers at Ag Expo say among the tractors and trucks is their perfect target audience, because taking the test takes less time than changing oil. “There are a few men that their eyes get wide open, they aren’t too interested in getting tested. But when we tell them it’s just a blood test and the results are mailed to them, they are a bit more open to it,” adds Groves.
The Man Van at Ag Expo
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It was wonderful working with The Man Van at the Lethbridge Ag Expo and talking with farmers about prostate cancer and encouraging them to take the PSA blood test. To some it was something new but there were a lot that had already survived prostrate cancer which substantiates the one in seven men will be affected. Thank you to the crew, Ed, Richard, Shannon and Melissa.