Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center has been offering free prostate screenings in an 18-parish area since 2002.

Data from 2003 to August 2011 shows that 6,800 men have been screened since then, said Renea Duffin, vice president of cancer programs for the Cancer Program of Our Lady of the Lake and Mary Bird Perkins.

Of those screenings, approximately 500 abnormalities were found, in the prostate specific blood test or the digital rectal exam, she said.

And of those, 63 cancers were discovered, Duffin said.

That follows the general pattern of about 8 percent to 9 percent of screenings revealing some type of abnormalities, and 11 percent of those abnormalities ultimately proving to be cancer, she said.

“The goal is that they’re getting the necessary follow-up ... and to make sure we provide the patient with the resources they need if they’re faced with cancer,” Duffin said.

This month, the Cancer Program of Our Lady of the Lake and Mary Bird Perkins will offer the following screenings:

• Sept. 17 — Webb’s Barber Shop, 414 Eddie Robinson Drive, 9 a.m. to noon.

• Sept. 22 — BREC Howell Park, 5509 Winbourne Ave., 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Sept. 30 — Wal-Mart, 904 S. Range Ave., Denham Springs, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.