Archie's Message About Cancer Center

Healthcare and medical issues can often be private topics that people don’t like to discuss.

However, NFL legend Archie Manning is opening up and getting personal this month after the pain of watching two close friends battle cancer.

“We’ve all been touched by cancer, unfortunately,” Manning said. “For me, recently the loss of my good friend Hokie (Gajan), really hit home. Also, my dear friend Chris Mortensen is at M.D. Anderson battling cancer right now. I communicate with him every single day, trying to support him and check in on him. There aren’t many of us in this old world who haven’t been affected by this terrible illness, in one form or another.”

Gajan was a former star running back for both the LSU Tigers and the New Orleans Saints who lost his battle to a rare form of cancer known as liposarcoma on April 11, 2016. Liposarcoma is a cancer that generally begins in the soft tissue.
Gajan and Manning’s friendship began when they both played together briefly with the Saints in the early 80’s. The Black and Gold selected Gajan in the 1981 Draft, and he went on to play 45 games for New Orleans at fullback.

Mortensen is a senior NFL analyst for ESPN who is currently fighting Stage 4 Throat Cancer. Mortensen was the first to break the retirement news about Peyton Manning, Archie’s son who recently won his second Super Bowl, this one with the Denver Broncos.

After saying goodbye to Gajan and trying to help shoulder some of the emotional load of Mortensen’s battle, Manning is speaking out about the critical need for people to receive cancer screenings.

“Absolutely we all have to be proactive and diligent about getting the proper screenings so doctors can catch things early,” Manning said. “We all have a tendency to say ‘That will never happen to me. That happens to other people, not me or my family.’ That’s not the way it works though. We just have to do it – as far as taking the time to receive the proper screenings. Be aware, be conscious of the gift of good health and protect it.”

The Cancer Center of Thibodaux Regional helps people keep their health intact by offering potentially life-saving screenings and detection services using the latest technology available. If a patient is diagnosed with a problem, the quality of care and attention to detail at the Center add up to longer, fuller lives for many patients. The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer has awarded Thibodaux Regional’s Cancer Center with its Outstanding Achievement Award four times, more than any other cancer center in the state.

Here’s a cheat sheet of when you should start the screening process:
  • Breast Cancer: annual mammogram for women beginning at age 40, unless there is a family history
  • Cervical Cancer: annual pap smear for women beginning at age 18
  • Prostate Cancer: digital rectal scan for men beginning at age 50, unless there is a family history
  • Colon Cancer: colonoscopy every 10 years for men and women age 50 or above, unless there is a family history
  • Skin Cancer: skin exam by doctor every 3 years until the age of 40, then annual check ups
For more information on cancer screenings and treatment options, please call the Cancer Center of Thibodaux Regional at (985) 493-4708.