Fest for Life Smith, Broome and Duffin.JPG

From left are Mary Bird Perkins board member John Smith; East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, honorary Fest for Life chairwoman; and Renea Duffin, vice president of cancer support and outreach at Mary Bird Perkins.

Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center’s Fest for Life reached two major milestones during the annual event April 22 at the Bon Carre’ Business Center: 10 years of prevention and early detection services and more than 5,000 people screened.

The 2017 festival provided 569 cancer screenings, saw 256 people participate in other screenings such as blood pressure, glucose and heart rhythm, and detected abnormal findings in 26 participants who are being supported by a patient navigator for additional testing and follow-up care.

“Fest for Life’s longevity and continued growth speaks to the increasing need for these services in the community,” said Johnnay Benjamin, the cancer center’s early detection and education director. “Whether people are insured or uninsured, research shows many individuals aren’t accessing early detection services, causing more late-stage diagnoses. And finding cancer early is the best offense when it comes to fighting the disease. Fest for Life continues to fulfill this important community need, and the support and participation we receive underscores its significance to so many people.”