Patients get screened for cancer for free at event in downtown Baton Rouge

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center offered free health screenings Saturday at their 14th annual Live Well Baton Rouge event.
Published: May. 14, 2022 at 7:01 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Local doctors and nurses are urging people to get screened early for different types of cancer.

“So having it in this type of environment, it’s less intimidating for individuals and makes them feel more comfortable,” said Renea Duffin, vice president of cancer support for outreach and clinical research at the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.

The Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center hosted its 14th annual Live Well Baton Rouge event on Saturday, May 14. They offered free cancer screenings for people in the community.

“It’s an all-day activity, celebrating individuals taking personal responsibility for their health,” said Duffin.

The four different types of cancer screenings included breast, prostate, colorectal, and skin cancer.

“I’m here to get a free screening. Because of my age, I do not qualify to get screened with health insurance,” said Roseline Telfort, a Baton Rouge resident.

People like Telfort say it’s never too early to start getting checked.

“Yes—breast cancer and skin cancer, because many African Americans are not aware we can get skin cancer, so I just wanted to see any potential mole that I have on my body is skin cancer,” said Telfort.

Health officials also checked people’s blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels.

“Especially like your blood pressure, diabetes, you don’t really know about it until much later. You’re not going to really feel a blood pressure most of the time until you have heart disease or a stroke or something like that, so preventing those things from occurring is overall much better for patients in general,” said Dr. Benjamin Levron, of Baton Rouge General.

“If there’s an issue that can be either corrected or treated, the sooner that it’s detected, the better the outcome or prognosis,” said Roymelle Mason, a nurse practitioner.

Experts say when it comes to cancer, detecting it early gives you more options when it comes to treatment and the possibility of a better outcome.

“And we’ve come so far with cancer screenings, detections, and treatments, and so just because there’s a diagnosis, it’s not an expiration date. So get your screenings done so you can be treated and have the best outcome possible,” said Mason.

If you missed Saturday’s event, and you’d still like to get screened for cancer, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center has free screenings throughout the year. Click HERE for more information.

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