06/26/2013 06:27 EDT | Updated 08/26/2013 05:12 EDT

Saskatchewan sets up prostate centres to help men get tested, information

SASKATOON - A new way to help men with prostate cancer officially has officially launched in Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan Prostate Assessment Pathway makes it easier for men to get tested, find information and get medical advice.

Assessment centres are located at St. Paul's Hospital in Saskatoon and Pasqua Hospital in Regina.

Specially trained nurses at those centres are able to spend more time with patients either in-person or by video.

The centres began accepting patients in May and doctors can refer patients to those assessment centres, which will speed up access to prostate biopsy, diagnosis and treatment.

Ernie Pihlstrom, a former prostate patient, says being told you have cancer shakes people up and they want to know what the options and risks are.

"It's exciting to see the process that I went through formalized as a patient pathway with clinics specializing in prostate assessment," Pihlstrom said in a news release on Wednesday.

"This approach clears some of the roadblocks to getting a diagnosis early and making a plan for what to do>"