Many people gather in McFarland for free cancer screenings

CBCC offers free breast, colon and prostate checks

MCFARLAND, Calif. -  

More than 54,000 people die from colon or prostate cancer nationwide and it’s become the number one killer among Latinos.

There is a list of reasons why many people don’t get regularly screened for cancer.

“People are busy, people may not have easy access to healthcare.  People may not want to find out. They might have some eternal worry and they kind of don’t want to know on a certain level because they are afraid of it,” said Dr. Alan Cartmell of the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center in Bakersfield.

Cartmell hopes to change all that by taking his services out into rural areas of Kern County.

“Finding cancer early is one of the most important things and it’s not too difficult to do,” he said.  “The common cancers in Latinos, in women breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer. In men, lung cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer.  Those are the top three for men or women.”

“It’s definitely worth getting it checked out especially if you have a family,” said Bryan Collard, who after a self-examination decided he would get a second opinion just to ease his mind.

“It’s a little embarrassing, a little uncomfortable but I think it’s worth it,” he said.

In addition to free exams, more than a hundred participants received prevention education and referrals for follow-up care.

“You just never know, cancer is something you really don’t know until you have it, until you get sick and if you get checked out early I think it will be better.”, said Collard.

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