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Lung Cancer

Breathe Easier and Get Screened


Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths in Louisiana. Detecting lung cancer in its earliest stages can mean more tomorrows. Take charge of your health, and learn the facts. Be aware of lung cancer symptoms, risk factors, prevention and early detection.


Risk Factors:

Risk factors for lung cancer include smoking and secondhand smoke, radon and asbestos exposure and pollution. In addition, family history, cancer history and history of COPD or Pulmonary Fibrosis could put you at greater risk. High Risk Status Screenings are recommended for ages 55-74 with a smoking history of 30 pack years or more and less than 15 years of smoking cessation; and ages 50 or older with a smoking history of minimum 20 pack years with at least one additional risk factor other than secondhand smoke.


Some signs of lung cancer may include a cough that does not go away or gets worse, coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm), new onset of wheezing or chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing. Other symptoms could be hoarseness, weight loss and loss of appetite, shortness of breath or feeling tired or weak, or infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back.


When to Get Screened:

  • Age 55 – 77 years
  • Asymptomatic (no signs or symptoms of lung cancer)
  • Tobacco smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (one pack-year = smoking one pack per day for one year; 1 pack = 20 cigarettes)
  • Current smoker or one who has quit smoking within the last 15 years
  • Receives a written order for LDCT lung cancer screening

For eligibility and more information, please call to schedule a lung cancer screening.

  • Baton Rouge and Gonzales: (225) 230-2525
  • Covington: (985) 898-4581
  • Houma: (985) 850-6052
What happens when you quit smoking?


geaux_free_logo_2013_stacked_color_tag-01Quitting can be a challenge, but you don’t have to do it alone.

The Cancer Center offers our Geaux Free tobacco treatment program at no cost for people who want to kick the habit. Geaux Free helps individuals prepare for quitting, managing withdrawal symptoms, identifying triggers that create urges, learning new behavior and skills to remain tobacco-free, and developing a support network. Learn more.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with our certified tobacco treatment specialist, please call (225) 215-1274.



“This holiday season will be the best ever because I have so very much to be grateful for,” said Wanda. “In the new year, I want to continue doing what I do best: make people laugh. I also want to travel, dance and fish. I’ve got so much life left to live and with the help of God, Dr. Cataldo and immunotherapy, I’m going to do just that.”

Wanda blog header


Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer, often caused by exposure to asbestos and other hazardous toxins. It can take 40-50 years to develop. The majority of mesothelioma patients begin to exhibit symptoms of this disease with shortness of breath and chest pain.

In diagnosing the disease, patients are x-rayed to detect fluid in the chest. Fluid that accumulates as a result of mesothelioma will usually come back rapidly after being drained. If fluid is detected, biopsies from tissue around the lung will be obtained. Brain MRIs and PET scans can also be a part of the diagnosis process.

Treatment options for mesothelioma include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation (or a combination of the three). Other key aspects of treatment include nutrition, pain management, and psychosocial issues.

In affiliation with CVT Surgical Center, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center’s Mesothelioma Program offers a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach for the development of an optimal care plan for patients. The Cancer Center’s Mesothelioma Specialty Treatment Team, a subsection of the Lung Cancer Multidisciplinary Care Team, includes pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists and interventional radiologists, and it is supported by a patient navigator who ensures personalized continuity of care at every stage.


Gamma Knife Icon (GKI) is an innovative, noninvasive radiosurgery technology used for treating metastatic lung cancer when tumors have spread to the brain. The first of its kind in the Gulf South, GKI treats only the parts of the brain that need it, sparing healthy tissue and enhancing quality of life. There are no incisions with this treatment and, in most cases, little to no side effects. To learn more about the Gamma Knife Icon, click here.


Disease site teams, or multidisciplinary care teams, are specialists from each diagnostic, treatment and supportive care discipline working together in the same facility where state-of-the-art cancer treatment is given, and relevant research is conducted.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month


Clinical trials are research studies that involve human beings in order to test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose or treat diseases. A drug must be part of a clinical trial before the FDA will approve it to be put on the market. Oncology clinical trials are conducted in order to test new drugs or a new combination of drug treatments, new surgery and radiation therapies and new medical devices.

Every cancer center patient is evaluated for participation in a clinical trial. Those who meet the criteria to participate in clinical research receive a standard of care treatment, but with the added benefit of a trial that may enhance their outcomes.

If interested in volunteering to participate in a clinical research trial, or if you have concerns about the conduct of clinical research, please contact the Clinical Research office at (225) 215-1353, or by email at

Trial Number: Alliance A151216

Title: Adjuvant Lung Cancer Enrichment Marker Identification and Sequencing Trial (ALCHEMIST)

Purpose: This research trial studies genetic testing in screening patients with stage IB-IIIA non-small cell lung cancer that has been or will be removed by surgery. Studying the genes in a patient’s tumor cells may help doctors select the best treatment for patients that have certain genetic changes.

Physicians: Drs. Bryan BienvenuVince CataldoDavid HansonDaniel LaVieSobia OzairKellie SchmeeckleJoseph ShowsDerrick SpellSiva Yadlapati, Lauren ZatarainJames CarinderJack Saux, and Donald Hill.

Offered in: Baton Rouge, Covington, and Houma.

Trial Number: Alliance A081105

Title: Randomized Study of Erlotinib Vs. Observation in Patients with Completely Resected Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGRF) Mutant Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

Purpose: This randomized phase III trial studies how well erlotinib hydrochloride compared to placebo works in treating patients with stage IB-IIIA non-small cell lung cancer that has been completely removed by surgery. Erlotinib hydrochloride may stop the growth of tumor cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth.

Physicians: Drs. Bryan BienvenuVince CataldoDavid HansonDaniel LaVieSobia OzairKellie SchmeeckleJoseph ShowsDerrick SpellSiva Yadlapati, Lauren ZatarainJames CarinderJack Saux, and Donald Hill.

Offered in: Baton Rouge, Covington, and Houma.

Trial Number:  E4512

Title: A Randomized Phase III Trial for Surgically Resected Early Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Crizotinib versus Observation for Patients with Tumors Harboring the Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) Fusion Protein

Purpose: This randomized phase III trial studies how well crizotinib works and compares it to placebo in treating patients with stage IB-IIIA non-small cell lung cancer that has been removed by surgery and has a mutation in a protein called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). Mutations, or changes, in ALK can make it very active and important for tumor cell growth and progression. Crizotinib may stop the growth of tumor cells by blocking the ALK protein from working. Crizotinib may be an effective treatment for patients with non-small cell lung cancer and an ALK fusion mutation.

Physicians: Drs. Bryan BienvenuVince CataldoDavid HansonDaniel LaVieSobia OzairKellie SchmeeckleJoseph Shows, Derrick SpellSiva Yadlapati and Lauren ZatarainJames Carinder, and Jack Saux, and Donald Hill.

Offered in: Baton Rouge, Covington, and Houma.

Trial NumberNRG LU002

Title: Maintenance Systemic Therapy Versus Local Consolidative Therapy (LCT) Plus Maintenance Systemic Therapy for Limited Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC): A Randomized Phase II/III Trial

Purpose: This randomized phase II/III trial studies how well giving maintenance chemotherapy with or without local consolidation therapy works in treating patients with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer.

Physicians: Drs. Katherine CastleJingya WangCharles WoodBryan BienvenuDavid HansonDaniel LaVieKellie SchmeeckleDerrick SpellVince CataldoSobia OzairJoseph ShowsSiva Yadlapati, and Lauren Zatarain

Offered in: Baton Rouge

Trial Number: LungMap

Title: A Master Protocol to Evaluate Biomarker – Driven and Immunotherapies in Previously – Treated Non – Small Cell Lung Cancer (Lung – MAP Screening Study)

Purpose: This screening and multi-sub-study randomized phase II/III trial will establish a method for genomic screening of similar large cancer populations followed by assigning and accruing simultaneously to a multi-sub-study hybrid Master Protocol (Lung-MAP).

Physicians: Drs. Bryan BienvenuDavid HansonDaniel LaVieKellie SchmeeckleDerrick SpellJames CarinderJack SauxVince CataldoSobia Ozair, Joseph ShowsSiva YadlapatiLauren Zatarain and Donald Hill.

Offered in: Baton Rouge, Covington, Houma

Title: Limited Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer (LS-SCLC): Phase II/III Randomized Study of Chemoradiation versus Chemoradiation Plus Atezolizumab

Purpose: This phase II/III trial studies how well chemotherapy and radiation therapy (chemoradiation) with or without atezolizumab works in treating patients with limited stage small cell lung cancer.

Physicians: Drs. Bryan BienvenuVince CataldoDavid HansonKellie SchmeeckleDaniel LaVieSobia OzairJoseph ShowsDerrick SpellSiva YadlapatiLauren ZatarainJames CarinderJack SauxRobert FieldsKatherine CastleMaurice KingCharles WoodJingya WangJeffery LongAndrew ElsonRobert Gamble

Offered in: Baton Rouge, Covington, Houma