Georgia Cancer Center spreads awareness, information at World Cancer Day event

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 4:28 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Health officials say cancer numbers in Georgia are trending down, but we’ve discovered that’s not the case for those in the east Georgia area.

The Georgia Cancer Center tells us they are launching a mobile screening unit for cervical and breast cancer that will be here in the late summer. The latest data shows our area sees higher rates of cervical cancer than the rest of the state.

Georgia and South Carolina are already higher than most states for those rates.

Feb. 4 is World Cancer Day, but the Georgia Cancer Center got a head start on Friday.

“Information is power. It’s the first step in making sure you know the risk factors. When you should be getting screened, how to get screened so that if you do have cancer, it can be caught early,” said Mary Claire Regan, Georgia Cancer Center.

Information Quita Gibson says she wishes she knew before her own battle with cervical cancer.

“I was diagnosed at age 30. I get regular paps every year from my birthday. I’m used to the routine of coming in having my pap, going home, and getting a postcard ‘see you next year.’ That year, unfortunately, I got a call back when I got back to my office to come back over,” she said.

According to the CDC, anyone with a cervix is at risk for cervical cancer. Each year, 13,000 women are diagnosed, and nearly 4,000 die.

“Some people come in, and its last stage... there’s just is nothing that they can do. You know. Just depends on the cancer, where the cancer spreads, how long it’s been untreated, what the diagnosis would be,” said Gibson.

Early detection saved her life, so she’s made it her mission through her nonprofit and partnering with the place that saved her life to save others.

“I hope that they take away being an advocate for their health. Keeping your screening appointments. We have signs we don’t pay attention to, we don’t notice,” she said.

The Georgia Cancer Center says they will continue to make testing for cancer easier for the community.