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

(Gonzales, La.) – Seventy-five Ascension residents took proactive measures to protect their health by participating in Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s fourth annual Live Well Ascension event at Jambalaya Park. In conjunction with the Gonzales Area Foundation, Ascension residents received screenings for four different types of cancers at no cost at the Oct. 17 event.

“The Gonzales Area Foundation is proud to help provide potentially life-saving services here in Ascension Parish,” said DeEtte DeArmond, a founding member, Gonzales Area Foundation. “Lessening the burden of cancer is something we feel strongly about, so the partnership with Mary Bird Perkins is a great fit.”

Live Well cancer screenings included breast, colorectal, prostate and skin. Eight participants received an abnormal finding 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 Johnnay Benjamin, director of early detection and education, Mary Bird Perkins. “Events like Live Well Ascension provide us the opportunity to offer education and early detection on the weekend for the local community in a safe and accessible environment.

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


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, Mississippi, and its service area encompasses southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi regions. For more information, please visit