Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center In Gonzales Hosts Successful Free Cancer Screening Event

(Gonzales, La.) – Many Ascension residents took proactive measures to protect their health by participating in Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s fifth annual Live Well Ascension event at Jambalaya Park, Oct. 9. In conjunction with the Gonzales Area Foundation, screening for four different types of cancer and other health screenings were available to attendees free of charge.

“The Gonzales Area Foundation is honored to help provide potentially life-saving services to the residents of Ascension Parish,” said DeEtte DeArmond, a founding member of the Gonzales Area Foundation. “The partnership with Mary Bird Perkins is a great fit because we both feel strongly about ensuring area residents have access to the highest level of cancer care services. We thank the community for its support and we look forward to continue bringing Live Well Ascension to our friends, neighbors and loved ones for years to come.”

Live Well cancer screenings included breast, colorectal, prostate and skin, along with blood pressure and glucose checks. More than 110 cancer screenings took place resulting in seven percent of participants receiving an abnormal finding at the time of their screening and are currently being assisted by a nurse navigator to ensure necessary follow-up care is promptly accessed.

“Nationally, we are seeing a lack of access to healthcare, especially cancer prevention, education and early detection services in local communities due to concerns over the pandemic, as well as traditional barriers, including time constraints or other commitments. Unfortunately, this can result in cancers going undetected,” said Heather Johnson, director of early detection and education, Mary Bird Perkins.

“Events like Live Well Ascension provide us the opportunity to offer free education and early detection services on the weekend for the local community in a safe and accessible environment,” Johnson continued. We appreciate the Gonzales Area Foundation’s support and will continue working closely with them to enhance the health of everyone in Ascension Parish.”

Due to COVID-19, the Cancer Center took extra steps to ensure the safety of both participants and staff. A number of practices were put in place to ensure the safety of everyone, such as increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting practices for high-touch areas and appointments for all screenings were required to ensure social distancing. All screening participants and staff were required to wear masks.

The Cancer Center offers screenings throughout the year. For more information, call (225) 215-1234 or visit

Pictured, l-r: Renea Duffin, vice president, cancer support & outreach, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center; Mayor Barney Arceneaux, Gonzales Mayor and Gonzales Area Foundation advisory board.

About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for 50 years. The cancer care organization provides care at nine centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma, Gonzales, Zachary and Natchez, Mississippi, and its service area encompasses southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi regions. Mary Bird Perkins has a strategic partnership with OneOncology and the largest radiation and medical oncology groups from across the area including exclusive partnerships with Southeastern Louisiana Radiation Oncology Group, which provides radiation therapy throughout Mary Bird Perkins’ service areas, Northshore Oncology Associates, serving St. Tammany and Washington Parishes, specifically the communities of Covington and Slidell and Louisiana Hematology Oncology Associates, which services the Greater Baton Rouge area.. For more information, please visit