CARMICHAEL – Within the last two years, breast cancer screening rates have dropped dramatically. Experts worry they are not reaching those who may need it most in under-served communities.
An event held in Carmichael on Thursday with a mobile screening unit is hoping to change that.
Lorraine Maisonet took the time to take care of herself.
"I think some of these tables have a lot of good info," Maisonet said.
Mobile mammogram screenings were available at the event, which was sponsored by the Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation and the Dignity Health Mercy San Juan Cancer Institute.
Courtney Quinn, Executive Director of the Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation, is a breast cancer survivor. She says these types of events save lives.
"When you have an example to know what to look for, it's eye-opening," Quinn said.
Participants could feel what cancer is like in breast tissue at one booth and sign up for screenings and find support at others.
Experts say early detection offers the best chance of survival.
"I was diagnosed at 42," Tana Toll said.
Toll, a registered nurse, found herself on the other side of the exam table last year.
"Being young and vibrant, and then you go to get a regular old mammogram – and then you are told you have cancer," Toll said. "It's really scary."
The cost was just $250. The information she gathered was helpful in figuring out the type of breast cancer and the most effective way to treat it.
After radiation, she is cancer free.
"It's a journey," Toll said.
Toll now relates her experiences to her patients.
"I have complete empathy for all that go through that, and I bring that into my practice every day," Toll said.
This year, nearly 190,000 Californians will receive a cancer diagnosis, with more than 30,000 being diagnosed with breast cancer. To find out more about free screenings, go to albieaware.org.
for more features.