Gonzales-area residents now have convenient access to lung cancer screenings through Mary Bird Perkins — Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center’s Lung Cancer Screening Clinic. The screening, a noninvasive low-dose CT scan, which the National Cancer Institute reports is responsible for a 20 percent reduction in lung cancer mortality compared to the chest X-ray, is now currently available in Gonzales for individuals at the highest risk, a news release from Mary Bird Perkins — Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center said.

The primary location for the Lung Cancer Screening Clinic is at Mary Bird Perkins — Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center in Baton Rouge.

The clinic provides low-dose CT scan screenings as well as follow-up appointments with pulmonologists when needed, plus it has the backing of a comprehensive cancer center offering medical, radiation and surgical oncology services. A second location, solely for screenings, is now located in Gonzales at 1104 W. La. 30 as a convenience for patients living and working in the area, the release said. After patients are screened, any follow-up appointments with a pulmonologist will be scheduled at the Lung Cancer Screening Clinic in Baton Rouge. Screenings are offered for $99, a discounted price.

“The goal in providing a second location in the Gonzales area for the actual low- dose CT screening is to help save more lives,” said Linda Lee, Cancer Center administrator. “Our hope is that by making screenings more convenient, more people will take advantage of such an easy way to detect cancer early. Early detection can make a tremendous difference in the treatment outcome.”

While smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer, other risk factors include age and family history of cancer. A free online risk assessment is available at www.mbpolol.org/lung.

“It is important for individuals to know their risk factors,” Lee said. “The online assessment provides an avenue for individuals to evaluate their own personal level of risk, and a low-dose CT scan is highly recommended for anyone with increased risk factors. Through the Cancer Center’s Lung Cancer Screening Clinic, we offer the most timely diagnosis and rapid treatment options available.”

Mary Bird Perkins — Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center is the first site in Louisiana recognized as a Center for Lung Screening Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance. The LCA acknowledges organizations adhering to its quality standards, referred to as the National Framework for Excellence. Since its launch in November 2012, the Lung Screening Clinic has provided more than 330 screenings and has been successful in diagnosing lung cancer in its early stages.

For information about scheduling a CT lung cancer screening in Gonzales or Baton Rouge, call (225) 215-0200.