Cancer Center’s 14th Annual Fest for Life Achieves Successful Early Detection

Mary Bird Perkins’ annual cancer prevention, education and early detection event returns as cancer screenings rebound

(Baton Rouge, La.) Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center held its annual Fest for Life event on Saturday, May 1 in the Cancer Center parking lot to ensure appropriate social distancing and compliance with COVID-19 safety precautions. This year’s Fest for Life yielded impressive participation as cancer screenings continue to rebound after dipping earlier in the pandemic.

“It is incredible to see our community coming out to put their health first by getting screened,” said Johnnay Benjamin, director, early detection and education. “Catching cancer in its earliest stages is key to better outcomes and it was really important to host Fest for Life this year, as many people have delayed cancer screenings due to the pandemic.

Following is an overview of screening statistics for Fest for Life 2021:

  • Nearly 200 participants received cancer screenings
  • 45% were uninsured
  • 47% of participants had never been screened for cancer before
  • 19 participants had abnormal findings detected from screenings and are currently being supported by a patient navigator for additional testing and follow-up care

Participants received produce boxes at no cost to promote healthy eating as a cancer prevention strategy. All cancer screenings were provide at no cost, thanks to the generosity of the community. Special thanks to Fest for Life’s presenting sponsor, Karnival Krewe de Louisiane, and additional generous support from Unum Dental and Republic Finance.

The Cancer Center offers prevention and early detection services year round. For information on upcoming screenings, call (225) 215-1234 or click here

About Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center
As a regional destination for cancer care, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center offers the most advance technology and services provided by a dedicated team of nationally-recognized oncology experts. The Cancer Center provides best-practice, comprehensive care at every stage of the cancer journey, including disease site-specific multidisciplinary care teams, a robust clinical research program, extensive supportive care services and is the only facility in the Gulf South with the revolutionary Leksell Gamma Knife®Icon™. The American College of Surgeons has named the Cancer Center a recipient of its prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award for three consecutive survey cycles. As a nonprofit organization, donor generosity is essential to sustaining the mission of improving survivorship and lessening the burden of cancer for so many throughout Southeast Louisiana and beyond. For more information on the Cancer Center, and how you can become involved, please visit