40,000th Person Screened During 40th Anniversary Year

Screenings offered across southeast Louisiana


(Baton Rouge, La.) As Mary Bird Perkins celebrates 40 years of progress in the fight against cancer this year, it is also celebrating another timely milestone. The organization recently announced that it has screened 40,000 people for cancer across southeast Louisiana, continuing to share the life-saving message of early detection.

Mary Bird Perkins partners with local hospitals and many other like-minded health care organizations to bring free cancer screenings, along with prevention and  education services, to thousands of people each year. This effort has been underway since 2002 when the organization’s collaborative screening program began. Today, free screenings are provided for colorectal, skin, prostate, oral and breast cancer. Tremendous community generosity has sustained the early detection program, helping to make this accomplishment possible.

“With Louisiana leading the nation in cancer mortality, these 40,000 screenings, provided through many wonderful, collaborative partnerships, have played an important role in detecting cancer early for many people,” said Renea Duffin, vice president of cancer programs for Mary Bird Perkins. “And with our Early Bird mobile screening clinic, we are taking screenings directly to local neighborhoods – at convenient locations and times –  helping us to reach deeper into the communities we serve.”

Partners across Mary Bird Perkins’ 18 parish service area include Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Woman’s Hospital, St. Tammany Parish Hospital, Terrebonne General Medical Center, St. Elizabeth Hospital, YWCA EncorePlus, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and a host of other organizations committed to the fight against cancer.

The Louisiana Tumor Registry, which collects statewide data on all newly-diagnosed malignancies and cancer deaths, reports that Louisiana leads the nation in cancer deaths due to inadequate cancer screenings for early detection, resulting in late stage diagnosis.

Mary Bird Perkins screens for colorectal, skin, prostate, oral and breast cancers because:

•    These cancers comprise more than 50 percent of the newly diagnosed cancer cases in Louisiana;
•    Mortality rates for these cancers in Louisiana are higher than national averages; and
•    Simple screening procedures exist for detection in asymptomatic people, making these cancers more easily
detected than others.

“We know there are people alive today because they received a  screening and their cancer was detected early,” Duffin said. “We are committed to continuing to educate people about cancer and delivering another 40,000 screenings, thus saving more lives.”

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for over 40 years. With five centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma and Gonzales, its service area encompasses 18 parishes across southeast Louisiana.