For the first time in its nine-year history, the Man Van Mobile Prostate screening van is in Grande Prairie. The Prostate Cancer Centre, based out of Calgary, has sent two nurses to the city to perform blood tests free of charge for men between the ages of 40 and 80.

Volunteer and prostate cancer survivor Duane Brown was manning the registration table and says he stresses the importance of getting checked to everyone that walks through the door.

“One in seven men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime. If it’s detected early and taken care of [there’s] a 95 per cent survival rate. I’m a survivor, I can say, ‘look, I’ve had that surgery, I’ve been there, I’ve done that and I’ve survived,’ now I can put the word out to all the other guys as well.”

On July 8th when the van was in Peace River, 82 men came through the door and on the 9th in Grande Prairie, around 20 people came through in a 45 minute period since the van opened at 10 a.m.

Blood samples are taken in the van and then normally sent back to the Calgary lab for testing. The results are then mailed out to the men. On longer trips across Alberta, lab testing can be done in the van and results can be mailed from the road. Brown says this system seems to work best for men using the service.

“It’s a great way to get gentlemen to come in that don’t want to go to the doctor. It’s a little more convenient; we set up in different locations and we cover basically Alberta and a little ways into Saskatchewan.”

Prostate Cancer Centre has two vans and is the only mobile men’s health clinic offering blood testing for prostate cancer in North America.

The van will be at AGAT Labs on 115 Street until 2 p.m. today.