An event aimed at battling the nation’s No.-2 killer attracted hundreds this weekend to downtown Santa Barbara.
Approximately 200 Santa Barbara residents attended the third annual Cancer Prevention Fair at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on Saturday. The fair offered low-cost screenings for skin, prostate and breast cancer at the fair in addition to extensive information on minimizing cancer risks.
Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Public Affairs Coordinator Deborah Williamson said the purpose of the event was prevention.
“Three years ago we decided we wanted to expand our prevention program, because education is the key,” she said. “If we find most cancers early they are curable.”
Joleen Law, RD health educator from the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, said, “Thirty-five percent of all cancer deaths can be prevented simply by eating right. … But look – not smoking and [healthy] diet cuts cancer by 60 to 70 percent.”
Law said these statistics illustrate the importance of prevention events.
“This fair is just one more voice, one more voice to people who don’t have good insurance,” she said. “They come to these fairs and get things accomplished – things they wouldn’t have done otherwise.”
Roberta S. Nielsen, a cytotechnologist from Santa Barbara Pathology Laboratory, said due to advances in treatment, many types of cancer are now curable, and the fair offered a positive outlet for this new information.
“Cancer is a frightening thing, but a subgroup of cancers is curable and treatable. We’re trying to help people realize which ones they are,” she said. “The more information people have, the less frightening cancer becomes.”
Event participant Alicia Lim