Cancer Center to Host Annual Fest for Life Event

For more than a decade, thousands of attendees have been screened for cancer while enjoying food, fun and entertainment

(Baton Rouge, La.) With more than a decade of cancer screenings in a fun, festival environment, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center’s Fest for Life is back with the goal of saving more lives through early detection. This year’s event will be held Saturday, April 14 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Bon  Carrè Business Center, 7359 Florida Blvd.

Since 2008, more than 5,000 individuals have been screened for cancer at Fest for Life, a free health event that includes cancer screenings, food, children’s activities and entertainment for the entire family. Free cancer screenings include colorectal, breast, prostate, skin and oral cavity. All screenings are available to those who have not been screened for cancer in the past 12 months. Appointments are required for breast cancer screenings only.

While Fest for Life’s focus is always on cancer education and early detection, the event goes beyond this one disease and addresses the many health problems impacting our city’s residents. In addition to cancer, mortality rates continue to soar for conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. As a result, blood pressure and glucose checks and other community health education and resources will be offered.

One individual who understands the importance of early detection is LaTonja McMillan, who detected a lump during a self-examination. “Early detection saved my life. I had put off going to the doctor because of my busy schedule, taking care of my son and managing my hair salon. Luckily, one of my clients mentioned the free screenings provided by the Cancer Center and I knew if I didn’t go now I never would,” said McMillan.

Fortunately, McMillan’s cancer was detected an early stage and has an excellent prognosis. She is serving as the honorary chair for the 2018 Fest for Life event.

Johnnay Benjamin, director of early detection and education for the Cancer Center, says 21 people have been diagnosed with cancer through Fest for Life, and other diseases have been detected as well.

“Fest for Life is focused on bringing the community together and educating people on cancer through early detection and screenings while creating an event that’s fun and entertaining for the whole family,” said Benjamin. “LaTonja is just one example of the power of early detection and the importance of being screened if you have the slightest feeling that something isn’t right.”

To make an appointment, please call (225) 215-1234 or (888) 616-4687. For additional information about this event and other upcoming screenings, please visit


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