LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Doctors across the Lake Area are working to identify and prevent eight different types of cancers through a new wellness center.
“The whole idea is to find these cancers at a stage zero," OBGYN, Alice Babst Prestia said, "So, patients don’t have to get chemo or this type of thing.”
For Michele Mitchell, a breast cancer diagnosis at 21 years old brings this cause to the forefront.
“I had to drive four hours to be able to receive the care that I needed,” Mitchell said.
Now, she’s working with other people affected by similar diseases to help raise $1.6 million for the Christus Ochsner Wellness Screening and Genetics Center.
"We want a way to be able to assess people’s lifetime risk,” said Prestia.
The center was built to help determine the potential a patient has to develop certain cancers in their lifetime and keeping a close eye on those who are high risk.
“It’s important to have that as a safety net," Prestia said. "We feel like when people hear bad news or get bad news, they run away. So, we want a way to navigate these people through the system that are high risk.”
Doctors at the center will look at family genetics; the age a woman started having children, when a woman hit certain milestones in her life, and more, through state of the art detection technology and nurse navigators.
The center is designed to help everyone in our community.
“Our population that is under-served, women that may not think they can afford the care, and being able to invest in a center like this; so, they can come in and get the help they need to make sure they’re staying healthy for their families," Mitchell said.
Patients are already being seen at the center.