Take a look at the latest news happening at each of our Cancer Center locations.
In the News
Jared Taylor was planning on becoming a medical doctor to help treat people with cancer, but now finds himself almost literally in space, working on solutions to shield astronauts from dangerous radiation. He recently presented his research at SpaceX and is about to file a patent. Read the article above to learn more about how students and graduates of the LSU medical and health physics program are changing oncology, space travel, and more.
The Advocate: Todd Stevens
March 10, 2021
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center CEO, Todd Stevens, discusses how the Cancer Center has served the needs of patients throughout the Gulf South region for 50 years. Read his feature in the article above.
Mary Bird Perkins, NeuroMedical Center form research partnership
February 2, 2021
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and The NeuroMedical Center have entered into a new research agreement that will begin with the launch of a clinical trial for newly diagnosed glioblastoma, or GBM, patients. Learn more in the article above.
Free breast exams in November yielded surprising results
January 26, 2021
Screenings are important for early detection of cancer, which help improve the chances of survival if found. At a recent breast screening in Natchez, 12 of the 23 women screened required additional follow-ups, with 2 women receiving a positive cancer diagnosis. Learn more in the article above.
Dr. Vince Cataldo represented the Cancer Center in this Advocate article regarding healthcare challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. As clinics and screenings begin to reopen, we are prepared to serve the expected influx of patients, safely and effectively.
TNT, An Emerging Approach to Personalized Treatment for Advanced Rectal Cancer
MAR/APR 2020 Edition
Learn about how our physicians at the Cancer Center are using new approaches and comprehensive, personalized care to treat rectal cancer. It’s all in the latest edition of the Healthcare Journal of BR in an article co-authored by Dr. Kelly Finan and Dr. Suchit Patel.
A leader of LSU and Mary Bird Perkins’ medical physics program partnership, Wayne Newhauser, is creating gowns, face shields, masks and replacement ventilator parts in an innovative way to respond to COVID-19 needs. Resources such as these are in short supply throughout the country, but thanks to a donation of billboard vinyl from Lamar, Newhauser and his team are able to make reusable PPEs for healthcare workers.
Brian McNabb wasn’t yet 40 when he was diagnosed with cancer, but he knew the Cancer Center was the only place he’d seek treatment due to the expert care, sophisticated technology and robust support services available. Thousands of people like Brian benefit from these resources every day, thanks in part to Karnival Krewe de Louisiane (KKdL). At its annual ball Friday night, the Krewe shattered its previous record by raising $325K to benefit patients – and we could not be more grateful.
Led by Dr. Leon Cannizzaro, a new cardio-oncology clinic was launched in partnership between the Cancer Center and OLOL Heart & Vascular Institute. The clinic will help assess patients for cardiovascular diseases before, during and after cancer treatments. This clinic is designed to help cancer patients who have a pre-existing heart disease, cardiovascular risk factors or who have potential to develop heart disease due to cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation.
After being diagnosed with rectal cancer at age 45, Tavia Crumpler decided to help sound the alarm and share her story. Thanks to the expert treatment from a team of specialists at the Cancer Center, Travia is now a survivor. We are proud to be the first in Louisiana to receive a national rectal cancer accreditation, recognizing our doctors’ expertise in treating this disease.
Does pancreas cancer run in your family? Albert Johnson and his children are now more aware of their risks of the disease through our new program. Dr. John Lyons explains how this advanced approach allows for earlier detection of pancreas cancer, providing enhanced chances for survival.
Robotic surgery expands treatment options for lung cancer
November 19, 2019
Thanks to the expansion of early detection screenings and advanced technology, patients diagnosed with lung cancer now have more options. Dr. Emily Cassidy, a member of the Lung Cancer Multidisciplinary Care Team at the Cancer Center, explains how when the disease is caught early, robotic surgery allows patients to recover and return to their daily routines faster.
OLOL doctor using herpes virus to treat melanoma
October 7, 2019
Dr. Vince Cataldo is using a modified herpes virus as an immunotherapy treatment for select patients. This treatment is helping to eliminate skin cancer, at the injection site, by triggering the immune system to fight other cancer cells in the body. Patients like Bill Tripoli have seen great success, and he now has an improved prognosis thanks to this treatment.
Bringing Early Cancer Detection to You
July 31, 2019
A growing number of Baton Rouge companies are participating in the Prevention on the Go-Workplace program that educates employees about cancer and screens for early detection. For Kelly Gill, a quality control auditor at GMFS Mortgage, participating in the skin cancer screening offered by her employer may have saved her life. Within two weeks of the screening, Gill was officially diagnosed and underwent surgery. Gill’s story is similar to others participating in the Prevention on the Go-Workplace program, and expansion of this potentially life-saving program is underway.
Health Alert: HPV Becoming More Prevelent
July 11, 2019
Nearly 80% of sexually active people will contract Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in their life, with 33,700 cases of the virus turning into cancer. Although HPV is most commonly associated with cervical cancer, the virus can cause cancer in other parts of the body such as the throat and anus. Viruses never truly leave the body, but instead remain present in the cells for years in a dormant state, and can “reactivate” later in life. In this interview, Susan Harrison shares her story as a three-time survivor of cancers caused by HPV, and how early detection saved her life every time.
Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial, or TMIST, is a five-year research study taking place at leading breast cancer screening sites across the United States and Canada. The study will include more than 165,000 participants, and is currently implemented in Baton Rouge through a partnership between Women’s Hospital and the Cancer Center. The purpose of the study is to compare two Food and Drug Administration-approved types of digital mammography — standard digital, which uses two-dimensional technology, and Tomosynthesis, which employs 3D technology. Researchers are also building a tissue bank for future research to determine the best ways to screen for breast cancer by taking a person’s genetics and other personal risk factors into account.
In its first year of operation, the Breast & GYN Cancer Pavilion delivered approximately 22,000 interactions, experiences or activities for patient care. The Pavilion is a unique partnership between Woman’s Hospital and the Cancer Center, offering advanced treatment options like the Cooling Cap to women all over Louisiana and parts of Mississippi. New treatment interventions, physician specialists, advanced clinical trials and added support services are just a few of the upcoming advancements planned for the future.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is here
April 3, 2019
After the recent merger between Caring River Cancer Center and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, Gregory Cotter, MD, wrote a letter to the editor of The Natchez Democrat to discuss the recent transition and the efforts to improve cancer care in Natchez. Dr. Cotter cited a study from the American Cancer Society that showed a substantial decline in deaths from cancer in the past 25 years, but made it clear that there is still work to be done in clinical research and emerging treatments. With Mary Bird Perkins’ experience in cancer care, and extensive programs for screenings such as Prevention on the Go, the future of cancer care in Natchez is bright.
It has been a decade since Mary Bird Perkins opened its doors to the residents of Gonzales. During this time, the Cancer Center has introduced innovative cancer technology and prevention methods for patients in Ascension Parish. The Cancer Center has enhanced patients quality of life through community screening events, education programs and survivorship groups.
FDA to change mammography standards
March 29, 2019
Dr. Jeanette Kovtun, an oncologist from Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, recently spoke with WBRZ about the FDA’s new proposal to change mammogram policies for the first time in 20 years. A major portion of this change focuses on a woman’s breast density, which impacts the quality of the mammogram and risk of breast cancer. Dr. Kovtun referenced how oncologists are working on using different methods for screenings, such as tomosynthesis, to ensure that patients with dense breasts receive accurate screenings.
Two pieces of fine art were recently installed in Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center as a part of the Healing Arts Program. The program focuses on using art inspired by nature to evoke feelings of peace for patients visiting the center and undergoing treatment. The pieces, “Canopy of Peace” and “Journey to Wellness,” allow patients to gaze at aesthetically pleasing images that can help them imagine themselves lying under Louisiana live oak trees and feeling peace, even in the face of hardship.
New owners to take over Caring River Cancer
March 1, 2019
The Natchez Democrat recently covered the merger of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and Caring River Cancer Center in Natchez. Cancer Center leaders share what they think this deal will mean for the future of cancer care in the community. The location will officially merge with Mary Bird Perkins on March 14.
One on One with Todd D. Stevens
March/April 2019, Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge
The Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge sat down with Todd Stevens, President and CEO of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, to discuss the Cancer Center’s impact on the community and the work it is doing to make itself Louisiana’s leading cancer care organization. In addition, the article focused on looking to the future as Stevens described the different ways he envisions cancer care evolving to save more lives in the coming years.
Caring River Cancer Center of Natchez, Mississippi, has announced a merger with Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center that is set to take effect on March 14. Caring River co-owner Dr. Randy Tillman is cited saying it was Mary Bird Perkins’ dedication to the highest level of care that solidified the merger with the Cancer Center. Mary Bird Perkins plans to invest its resources to ensure high-quality, comprehensive services for the residents of Natchez.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center announced on February 28, that it will be partnering with Caring River Cancer Center in Natchez, bringing its top-level cancer care to Mississippi’s Adams County. Mary Bird Perkins President and CEO Todd Stevens referenced Natchez’s cancer statistics and discussed Mary Bird Perkins’ desire to increase its cancer prevention and education programs in the area. The location will officially merge with Mary Bird Perkins on March 14.
Mary Bird Perkins- Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center is opening a first-of-its-kind Musculoskeletal Oncology Clinic focused exclusively on treating patients with soft tissue, muscle and bone tumors. The clinic’s leading sarcoma experts are Dr. John Lyons, surgical oncologist, and Dr. Shaun Accardo, orthopedic oncologist. The Cancer Center’s sarcoma multidisciplinary care team will work closely with these experts to develop individualized treatment plans for clinic patients.
Cancer patients learn to find blessings in brokenness
December 4, 2018
Those touched by cancer had the opportunity to gather and paint oyster shell ornaments to decorate the Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center celebration trees. Though these patients and survivors still feel the effects of cancer in their lives, painting gives them a mindful moment of peace and readjusts their focus to the brighter parts of their lives.
Breast cancer patients have access to innovative radiation treatments at the Breast & GYN Cancer Pavilion. Dr. Charles Wood, radiation oncologist, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, and Dr. Mindy Williams Bowie, breast surgical oncologist at Woman’s Hospital, work in tandem to perform partial radiation treatments which reduce side effects and specifically target the area of the breast most likely to see the cancer return.
Donald Hartung: A story of faith and medicine
September 3, 2018
On a mission trip with his wife in Cambodia, 26-year-old Donald Hartung received the devastating diagnosis of testicular cancer. After traveling back to the United States for a second opinion, scans showed the cancer had spread to his lungs and brain. His care team at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center put together a treatment plan that included using the Gamma Knife Icon, a revolutionary treatment used to target brain tumors.
Lane Regional Medical Center and Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center have partnered to provide Zachary cancer patients with medical oncology services.
Survivor Rings the Bell in Style
June 28, 2018
Cancer survivor Jonathan Griener celebrates the end of his treatment by ringing the bell in his finest tuxedo. This unique patient overcame his treatment with a positive outlook, and spread joy to everyone he met at Mary Bird Perkins.
TMIST is one of the first trials launched under the Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center and Woman’s Hospital breast & GYN partnership. The trial evaluates two different types mammography, 3D and the current standard 2D mammography. Radiologist Dr. James Ruiz discussed the new trail on Talk 107.3.
On May 1, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center and Woman’s Hospital will debut their new $19 million facility, built to treat breast and gynecologic cancers of women throughout the Gulf South. The Breast & GYN Cancer Pavilion will have resources including medical and radiation oncology teams, state-of-the-art technology such as the Elekta Infinity TM and Elekta Agility TM, and an integrated medical program for all aspects of a cancer patient’s life.
Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center and Woman’s Hospital are excited to expand their partnership with the Breast and GYN Cancer Pavilion. The newly unveiled pavilion has opened its doors and is now serving patients from all over the south.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center marks 30 years
March 28, 2018
This year Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Hammond celebrated 30 years of service to the community. Throughout the years, the Cancer Center has provided advanced cancer treatment to local patients.
Dr. Shaun Accardo and his partner, Allison Lee, have devoted their spare time to rescuing animals in need and giving them sanctuary. The couple is caring for over 70 animals on their 28 acre farm which they call Barney’s Farm Sanctuary. They hope to find volunteers to help care for the animals as well as encourage adopting so they can continue to help other animals in need.
New Surgical Protocol Eases Pain of Colorectal Surgery
March 15, 2018
Patients at Mary Bird Perkins—Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center now are able to go through surgery with much less pain and downtime than before. The new protocol is called “Enhanced Recovery After Surgery” Protocol or ERAS Protocol and focuses on helping the patient through the before and after surgery, not just during. Patients are now able to go home and recover much sooner than they would’ve been able to before.
The radiation received in breast cancer treatments can cause patients to have an increased risk of heart disease. In effort to combat this, the physicians at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center developed a method to move the heart away from the chest wall by simply having the patients hold their breath.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Gonzales is now offering the THRIVE survivorship program. Through this program the cancer center is supporting cancer patients and survivors a step further than their cancer treatment and are offering support groups, art workshops, walking groups, and other various services.
Cancer Services is merging with Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. In doing so, the organization will be able to expand its services outside of the Baton Rouge area to all of southeast Louisiana.