UTRGV expanding cancer research with $6 million grant

UTRGV expanding cancer research with $6 million grant
3 months 3 weeks 5 days ago Saturday, March 23 2024 Mar 23, 2024 March 23, 2024 6:44 PM March 23, 2024 in News - Local

The UTRGV School of Medicine is expanding its colorectal cancer research.

The school recently received a $6 million grant from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas that officials say will help lower the cancer disparity in the Rio Grande Valley. 

“In the RGV region, we have about 1.5 million people, which are a majority Hispanic population,” UTRGV Cancer Center Director Dr. Subhash Chauhan said. “This population unfortunately suffers from a lot of cancer incidents, including colorectal cancer.”

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, more than 2,500 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in South Texas between 2019 and 2021.

Dr Chauhan says his team is working on gathering more data for the Valley.

"We have a lot more data on other populations, but unfortunately we have very limited data on our Hispanic population," Chauhan said. "So this will be the first opportunity to just work on this project and get some data on this Hispanic population, and find some molecular pathways that are influencing cancer in this region."

The research aims to find an earlier diagnosis in patients.

The Valley has about a 49% colon cancer diagnosis rate. That's about 40 new cases a year per 100,000 people. It affects Hispanic men more than it does women.

Adults over the age of 50 should have regular medical screenings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in the U.S., and it’s the third leading killer in the nation.

Doctors say there are warning signs you can look out for, such as frequent diarrhea or constipation, blood in the stool and feeling weak and tired, or unexplained weight loss.

Watch the video above for the full story. 

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