Hundreds Screened During Cancer Center’s Fest for Life

(Baton Rouge, La.) Hundreds of people proactively took charge of their health by participating in Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center’s ninth annual Fest for Life, Sat. April 16. Since Fest for Life began in 2007, more than 4,800 free cancer screenings have been provided.

Fest for Life, held in recognition of Minority Cancer Awareness Week, offers free access to basic cancer screenings and other health tests and information. Cancer screenings included breast, prostate, skin, colorectal and oral cavity, along with blood pressure and glucose checks. Food, entertainment and children’s activities were also provided at no cost, thanks to Karnival Krewe de Louisiane and other generous community sponsors.

“The goal of Fest for Life is to detect cancerand other diseases early so we can more effectively impact  outcomes; we could not be happier that so many people in the community took advantage of this easy way to access various health services in one convenient location,” said Johnnay Benjamin, the Cancer Center’s early detection and education director. “None of it would be possible without our generous sponsors and the many other supporters who gave of their resources, time and talents to help save lives.”

Following is an overview of screening statistics for Fest for Life 2016:

  • 609 cancer screenings
  • 210 people participated in other health screenings such as blood pressure, glucose, and heart rhythm tests
  • 48 participants (18 breast, 10 oral, 4 prostate, 16 skin) had abnormal findings detected from screenings; they are currently being   supported by a patient navigator for additional testing and follow-up care

As a regional destination for cancer care, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center offers the most advanced 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 and extensive supportive care services. 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