BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Breast cancer impacts women regardless of race, age and gender. But according to a report by Susan G. Komen, White women are slightly more likely to get breast cancer, but African-American women are more likely to die from the disease.
Deandra Jones is an African-American woman and a breast cancer survivor of 11-years.
"The first moment when I was diagnosed, I was nervous," said Jones. "You hear the word cancer, the first thing you think is are you about to die?"
It's a question that can become a reality for anyone battling breast cancer.
While Jones fought her own battle with cancer, she witnessed her mother fight with esophagus cancer.
"I started crying because I told my mom, I said mom, I can't sit in here with you because I'm about to go through this and I'm nervous. She said don't be nervous, you'll be fine and I wasn't fine when I did my chemo. My mother was strong she did it every week, every Thursday
Dr. Marcher Thompson of Adventist Health urges women and men to understand that preventive care is important.
"Getting screening help makes sure that if there is something there. it's found at a time where we can do something about it"
According to the CDC, from a 5-year-period of 2012 to 2016, 431 women died from breast cancer in Kern County.
And it's a disease that doesn't discriminate.
"All women of all races are at risk of getting breast cancer, that's why it's recommended that all women get screened regardless of race," said Thompson.
Not only did Jones witness her mother die from cancer, but her husband Charles also died after battling Non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2015.
Today, Jones is now witnessing her cousin who was by her side during her journey fight the very same disease she fought a little over a decade ago.
"I just get so happy because she did her fight, her treatments were very extensive and she did a longer treatment than I did but when I see her, she's just the happiest person in the world," said Jones. "She was my inspiration and she's going through it right now."