Cancer Center highlights decade of improving survivorship and lessening the burden of cancer in Ascension Parish
(Gonzales, LA) Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Gonzales has provided expert cancer care to thousands of patients in and around Ascension Parish for a decade. During this time, thanks to the support from the community, the Cancer Center has introduced innovative cancer treatments, and expanded its cancer prevention, education and early detection, research and survivorship programs.
The Cancer Center’s Gonzales location was established as a partnership with St. Elizabeth Hospital, which recently became Our Lady of the Lake Ascension. The Center offers patients convenient access to state-of the-art technology including the Elekta Agility high resolution beam shaping device that precisely focuses the radiation beam on a tumor minimizing the impact on surrounding healthy tissues. In addition, patients at high risk for lung cancer can benefit from low-dose lung screening. The Gonzales location was also one of the first to offer a deep-inspiration breath hold technique to reduce the amount of radiation critical organs receive when women are treated for breast cancer.
“Because every diagnosis is different and unique to each patient, the most effective cancer treatments are individualized,” said Maurice King, M.D., radiation oncologist at Mary Bird Perkins in Gonzales. “With our expert team of oncologists, radiologists and specialists, medical physicists and other professionals, we can offer each patient a customized treatment plan, providing the highest level of cancer care close to home.”
Through the Cancer Center’s outreach and education program, Prevention on the Go, Ascension Parish residents have accessed more than 1,500 free cancer screenings that have saved lives in the community. The annual Live Well Ascension screening event has been one of the Cancer Center’s most successful programs, with more than 205 participants screened in 2018.
“Having a supportive community cheering us on for a decade now has made a large parish feel like a closer-knit community,” said Tiffany Shelton, radiation program manager and Leadership Ascension Foundation board member. “When you’re treating your neighbors, your friends and even your family, you want to do everything to provide the best possible care, and it’s something we strive to do each and every day.”
Todd D. Stevens, president and CEO, Mary Bird Perkins, says that the power of the community’s involvement cannot be overstated.
“The Cancer Center’s ability to expand its mission in Ascension Parish is driven by the tremendous generosity of many supporters and our hospital partner’s dedication to providing the highest level of cancer care in the region. The community’s continued generosity and support has fueled our ability to advance our mission to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer for patients and their families, and for that we are grateful.”
At a special celebration event on March 28 at the Gonzales center, Shelton acknowledged longtime volunteer Mary Babin with a special award for her dedication to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and Our Lady of the Lake Ascension.
About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for almost 50 years. The cancer care organization provides care at nine centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma, Gonzales, Zachary, and Natchez, Louisiana, and its service area encompasses 18 parishes across Southeast Louisiana and several counties in Mississippi. For more information, please visit www.marybird.org.