Cruisin' for a Cure car show in Costa Mesa raises awareness for prostate cancer screenings

Sure, a lot of women love cars. But guys tend to really love cars. So how about an amazing car show that many guys should attend?

"We do this for prostate cancer, and everybody just loves to come here and get tested and have fun with their cars," said Debbie Baker, president and founder of Crusin' for a Cure.

Now in its 20th year, the huge one-day car show held at the O.C. Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa brings together guys who love cars and free screenings for prostate cancer. Those screenings are something every guy over 40 should have done yearly, say oncologists. The track record of early detection at Cruisin' for a Cure is impressive.

"We've tested over 10,000 men in the last 20 years. We've saved 30%, so 3,000 men that had no idea they had prostate cancer. And they're here today to have a good time," Baker said.

The screening is a simple blood test and an optional physical check in a mobile exam room located at the car show. And if men don't think they need this test, a veteran oncologist offers some sobering statistics.

"If you wait till you have symptoms, it's too late. If you pick it up early, there's an 88% cure rate if you get to us on time, which is a big difference," said Dr. Ken Tokita, who is with the KSK Cancer Center of Irvine. Dr. Tokita and six other physicians will be administering the screenings at the show on Saturday.

The blood screening is fairly quick and painless, taking about 10 minutes, including the time to fill out the form. The results of the PSA test will be sent through the mail in a few weeks. And if you're a guy over 40 attending the show on Saturday, and Debbie sees that you don't have a bandage on your arm, she'll take charge.

"Everybody I walk by I say 'Show me your arm, show me your arm.' And if they haven't gone in there and they give me an excuse, I say 'hop on, I'm taking you over there.'," she said with conviction. Debbie lost her own husband to prostate cancer a number of years ago.

So do it for Debbie, do you it for yourself, and do it for your loved ones. The free screenings are available all day at the show.

And let's face it, going to the doctor's office isn't so fun. But if you can make a day of playing with cars as sort of a fun version of a doctor's visit, that's much more fun.
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