“If it wasn’t for the MAN VAN …”

It was a lazy summer day during the Father’s Day weekend. John was enjoying the sunshine, chrome, and shiny paint at a local show and shine. Also in attendance was a seemingly out-of-place blue and white RV….the MAN VAN.

John walked by the van several times paying it little mind, all the while enjoying the hot rods and classic cars in the show. Gradually, he wandered back towards it and was approached by a friendly fellow in a blue golf shirt who asked “Welcome to the MAN VAN. Have you had your PSA checked?”

John knew that regular doctor visits should include PSA checks but was unsure if it had been done or what his level was. He decided to take the 10 minutes the testing required and find out.

A couple of days passed and John received a call from the Prostate Cancer Centre, “Your PSA levels are elevated and we suggest a follow up with your family doctor”.

Not thinking anything serious, John took their advice and contacted his doctor to schedule a follow up appointment. This visit revealed another elevated PSA reading and another test was suggested. The third test was a biopsy and this was the real eyeopener for John. This test changed his life.

“Think about the toughest words you’ll hear in your life. In my case it was — ‘You have prostate cancer.’ You owe it to yourself to get checked.”

After the shock of the diagnosis subsided, John was able to schedule an appointment with his urologist to discuss treatment options. Surgery made the best sense to John and he had this successfully performed at the Rockyview General Hospital. Three years after his initial visit to the MAN VAN, John is enjoying retirement and living his life to the fullest. He is volunteering at the Prostate Cancer Centre, sharing his journey with prostate cancer with other men going through the same struggle with the same diagnosis.

John’s story is not uncommon. One in seven men in Alberta will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. It is very treatable if caught early. All men over 40 are encouraged to visit the MAN VAN or speak to their family doctor about PSA testing.