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Prevention

IMPORTANCE OF PREVENTION

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center believes every person should have convenient access to prevention and early detection services – especially in our state, which consistently ranks high in cancer deaths.

In 2002, we launched a comprehensive program to provide prevention and early detection services to find cancer in its earliest stage when better outcomes are more likely. Together with partners, we screen people for breast, colorectal, oral, prostate and skin cancers throughout our 18-parish service area. These efforts are nationally recognized as best practices in outreach and are making a positive difference in lives across Southeast Louisiana.

On April 22, we will be celebrating the 10th Annual Fest For Life at Bon Carre Business Center. Fest for Life includes free cancer screenings for five different types of cancer, including breast, prostate, colorectal, skin and oral cancer, along with blood pressure and glucose testing. It’s a fun event for the entire family with free food, entertainment and activities for children.

Find all our upcoming screenings on our calendar.

COMMUNITY CANCER SCREENINGS

Prevention on the Go for the community is designed to provide education and early detection services in locations where people live, worship, shop and play. Using our Early Bird mobile medical clinic, the Cancer Center travels throughout Southeastern Louisiana to serve thousands of participants each year.

This nationally-recognized program has a longstanding legacy of providing gold-standard and innovative early detection services. Since 2002, Prevention on the Go for the community has screened nearly 78,000 people and detected 534 cancers.

As part of the community program, on April 22, we will celebrate the 10th annual Fest for Life at Bon Carre Business Center. The event includes free cancer screenings for five different types of cancer, including breast, prostate, colorectal, skin and oral cancer, along with blood pressure and glucose testing. It’s a fun event for the entire family with free food, entertainment and activities for children.

For information on Prevention on the Go’s community program, contact Johnnay Benjamin at jbenjamin@marybird.com.

Find all our upcoming screenings on our calendar.

Breast Cancer

Risk Factors:

Some risk factors for breast cancer are not preventable, such as getting older, personal or family history of breast cancer or some non-cancerous breast diseases, while some risk factors can be associated with lifestyle choices. Not being physically active, being overweight or obese after menopause or drinking alcohol can increase your risk. If you have questions about potential risk factors in your life, talk with your doctor.

When to Get Screened:

Women should get a clinical breast exam at least every three years, starting in their 20s, and get an annual exam and mammogram starting at 40. Breast self-exam is an option beginning at age 20. See a doctor about any breast changes.

What to Expect:

A clinical Breast exam will be provided to women of all ages
during these screenings. Mammograms will be available to women 40 and older who
have not had a mammogram in the past 12 months. Insurance will be billed for mammograms. There will be no charge for women without insurance.

View more information on Breast Cancer

Colorectal Cancer

Risk Factors:

Fifty is the recommended age to begin colorectal cancer screening, unless there is a family history, in which case screenings should start earlier. Other factors such as obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking and the amount of intake of red meat can all increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Some families are more colorectal cancer-prone than others due to genetic predisposition to colorectal cancer, referred to as Lynch syndrome. Through genetic testing, Lynch syndrome, often called hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, can be identified.

When to Get Screened:

Beginning at age 50, men and women should begin screening with one of the examination schedules below:

1. A colonoscopy every 10 years.
2. A flexible sigmoidoscopy (FSIG) every 5 years.*
3. A double-contrast barium enema every 5 years.*
4. CT Colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years*
5. An at-home, multiple sample Guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) or fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year*
6. Stool DNA (sDNA), Interval Uncertain*

*Colonoscopy should be done if test results are positive.

What to Expect:

Easy-to-use kits will be distributed. Men and women age 50 and older who have not been screened for colorectal cancer in the past 12 months. Does not replace a medical examination or other screening procedures.

View more information on Colorectal Cancer

Lung Cancer

Risk Factors: 

Risk factors for lung cancer include smoking and secondhand smoke, radon and asbestos exposure and pollution. In addition, family history, cancer history and history of COPD or Pulmonary Fibrosis could put you at greater risk. High Risk Status Screenings are recommended for ages 55-74 with a smoking history of 30 pack years or more and less than 15 years of smoking cessation; and ages 50 or older with a smoking history of minimum 20 pack years with at least one additional risk factor other than secondhand smoke.

When to get Screened:
Your best chance at beating cancer is early detection. High Risk Status Screening Recommended for:

  • Ages 55-74 with a smoking history of 30 pack years or more and less than 15 years of smoking cessation
  • Ages 50 or older with a smoking history of minimum 20 pack years with at least one additional risk factor other than secondhand smoke:
    ◦ Family history
    ◦ Radon exposure
    ◦ Abestos exposure
    ◦ Disease history (COPD or Pulmonary Fibrosis)
    ◦ Cancer history

For eligibility and more information, please call to schedule a lung cancer screening.

Baton Rouge: (225) 215-0200
Covington: (985) 898-4581
Houma:(985) 850-6052

What to Expect:

A screening test is performed with a low-dose spiral (helical) CT. The CT scanner rotates around your body while you lie still on a table that passes through the center of the scanner. The low-dose CT screening can be performed with a single short breath-hold and takes about 7-15 seconds.

View more information on Lung Cancer

Oral, Head & Neck Cancer

Risk Factors:

Most oral, head and neck cancers can be prevented. At least 75 percent of these diseases are caused by alcohol and tobacco, which are the two most important risk factors. Poor oral hygiene and missing teeth are risk factors for cancers of the oral cavity, and men are affected about twice as more as women with oral cancer. However, there is also a substantial focus on educating younger people. The Oral Cancer Foundation reports that the quickest growing segment of the oral cancer population is young, healthy, non-smokers due to the connection to the human papillomavirus (HPV). This means those with HPV need to know their risks and the warning signs for the disease.

When to get Screened:

The clinician should review the social, familial, and medical history and should document risk behaviors (tobacco and alcohol usage), a history of head and neck radiotherapy, familial history of head and neck cancer, and a personal history of cancer. Patients over 40 years of age should be considered at a higher risk for oral cancer.

What to Expect:

Oral cancer exams are painless, quick and take only a few minutes. During the exam, a doctor will check your face, neck, lips and entire mouth for possible signs of cancer.

View more information on Oral, Head & Neck Cancer

Prostate Cancer

Risk Factors: 

There are some common risk factors for prostate cancer. About 6 out of 10 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in men 65 years or older. Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. There is also some evidence that a diet high in saturated fat puts men at greater risk. In addition, African-American men are more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage and are more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer as caucasian men.

When to Get Screened:

Men, starting at age 50, should be offered a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam (DRE) every year. To decide on testing, talk to your doctor about how you may or may not benefit from prostate cancer testing. Men with a close family member with prostate cancer before age 65 and African American men should be offered both tests and discuss pros and cons of testing beginning at age 45.

What to Expect:

Includes a PSA blood test and a physical exam performed by a physician. Available to men 45 and older who do not have a doctor or who have not been screened for prostate cancer in the past 12 months.

View more information on Prostate Cancer

Skin Cancer

Risk Factors:

Certain physical features can be a risk factor such as a lighter natural skin color or skin that burns, freckles, reddens easily, or becomes painful in the sun; blue or green eyes; blond or red hair; or having certain types and a large number of moles. Other risk factors can include family or personal history of skin cancer, exposure to the sun through work and play, a history of sunburns, especially early in life, or a history of indoor tanning.

When to Get Screened:

Adult men and women should examine skin regularly and see a doctor to evaluate new growths or changes in existing growths.

What to Expect:

A visual exam will be performed by a physician. Available to those who have not had a physician perform a skin screening in the past 12 months.

View more information on Skin Cancer

IN THE WORKPLACE

Time and cost. People often cite these as reasons they don’t participate in cancer screenings. The Cancer Center’s Prevention on the Go program is designed specifically to eliminate these barriers and bring key preventative and early detection measures to employees at work.

The Cancer Center provides a mix of affordable and potentially life-saving curbside cancer screening services, engaging, prevention-focused education events and real-time access to qualified medical resources.

Prevention on the Go is a meaningful way to show your company’s commitment to employees’ health and wellbeing. Take the next step and let us help you bring this valuable service to your team.

With an investment in the Prevention on the Go program, your organization is investing in its most valuable asset: your employees.

For more information, contact Charity Gay at (225) 215-1207 or cgay@marybird.com.

MEMBER BENEFITS

ONBOARDING

Management toolkit includes:

  • Employee e-blasts to introduce the program and announce upcoming events
  • Customized posters for event promotion
  • Communication timelines
  • Employee participation incentive recommendations
CANCER SCREENINGS & NAVIGATION SUPPORT

Choice of two onsite cancer screening visits on the mobile medical clinic, the Early Bird.

  • Skin Cancer
  • Oral Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer

Employee spouses may also be screened.

Employees with an abnormal finding will be supported by a nurse navigator to assist them in resolution of the finding.

EDUCATIONAL EVENTS & MATERIALS

Two onsite interactive educational sessions

  • Healthy Skin is In
  • Balanced Bites
  • Improving Prostate Health
  • Improving Breast Health
  • Early Detection and Prevention of Oral Cancers
  • Early Detection and Prevention of Colorectal Cancer

Employee access to nurse practitioner regarding cancer risk assessment, screening results and/or prevention recommendations.

Web access for exclusive use by member organizations

  • Educational Resources
  • Scheduling of Screening Appointments
  • Screening Pre-registration
  • Ask The Expert

Optional group or individual tobacco cessation treatment.

Employer access to Cancer Center’s Geaux-Free tobacco-free workplace toolkit

On April 22, we will be celebrating the 10th Annual Fest For Life at Bon Carre Business Center. Fest for Life includes free cancer screenings for five different types of cancer, including breast, prostate, colorectal, skin and oral cancer, along with blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol testing. It’s a fun event for the entire family with free food, entertainment and activities for children.

TOBACCO TREATMENT

Quitting can be a challenge, but you don’t have to do it alone. Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center offers our Geaux Free tobacco treatment program at no cost for people who want to kick the habit. Geaux Free helps individuals prepare for quitting, managing withdrawal symptoms, identifying triggers that create urges, learning new behavior and skills to remain tobacco-free, and developing a support network.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with our certified tobacco treatment specialist, please call (225) 215-1274

TOBACCO TREATMENT PROGRAM

Geaux Free is available to anyone 18 years of age or over at no cost. Participants receive one-on-one tobacco treatment onsite at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, which includes initial tobacco use assessments, medication assistance and counseling sessions (individual appointments). A certified tobacco treatment specialist will work with you and your physician to develop an individualized plan to quit based on your tobacco use. After completing individual counseling, participants can enroll in phone counseling for additional support at no charge.

FREE CESSATION MEDICATIONS AVAILABLE FOR LONG-TIME SMOKERS

The Cancer Center is partnering with Smoking Cessation Trust Management Services to offer Free Cessation Medications and support services to qualified individuals.

Due to a final judgment in a class action lawsuit, Louisiana residents who developed a smoking habit before September 1, 1988 could be eligible for free cessation medications and other services to help break the tobacco addiction. Click here for more information.

SUN SAFETY

Don’t let your fun in the sun turn into a burn! Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is educating local youth about sun safety to help reduce chances of skin cancer as an adult.

Download these PDFs to learn about how you can protect your skin and reduce your chances for cancer later in life:

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