CON MI GENTE: South Texas Research Institute
The South Texas Research Institute in Edinburg is the only center in the valley specifically designed to study the liver.
Dr. Rashmee Patil, the founder and medical director of South Texas Research Institute said Hidalgo and Cameron County have the highest rate of new cases of liver cancer in the country.
"Hispanics are at high risk of NASH, compared to other ethnicities,"Patil said.
The center uses a machine called a fibro scan which can tell the researcher if the liver has developed fatty tissue.
"We look at fat content in the liver and we also look at how stiff the liver may be," Patil said. "The problem with NASH is that it can actually lead to something called cirrhosis which is end-stage disease and when the liver becomes very hard it may even not function at some point."
The institute is open to anyone that wants to be tested. Part of the research is to try and find out why the Rio Grande Valley has such a high number of liver cases.
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