PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The American Cancer Society has partnered with the NFL to intercept cancer in a North Philadelphia community.
With free food, coloring books, a visit by a former NFL player and raffle for free football swag as bait, roughly 200 people attended Crucial Catch Day at Maria de los Santos Health Center along West Allegheny Avenue, getting free flu shots, as well as breast and colorectal screenings.
“These cancers don’t have symptoms early on, when they are most treatable,” said Dr. Julia De Joseph, medical director of Population Health.
She says catching cancer early saves lives.
COO Brenda Robles-Cooke says nearly 70 percent of the Center’s patients are Hispanic and many are uninsured, so providing culturally competent access to screenings is vital.
“Everyone that works here is bilingual,” she said, “so we can speak to the patients in their language.”
“I got my colonoscopy done, I got my pap smear, everything done,” said patient Ruth Martinez, “I don’t want to catch nothing.”
Martinez believes in prevention; heart disease left her with a pacemaker; she wants to catch cancer before it catches her.