Colorectal Cancer Prevention Month

TTUHSC El Paso joins city in increasing awareness of prevention and treatment

On March 5, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso professors joined the El Paso Department of Public Health as the El Paso City Council declared March as Colorectal Cancer Prevention Month.

A large, inflatable colon greeted visitors to City Hall, showing what a physician performing a colonoscopy would see, including lesions, polyps and cancerous growths.

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TTUHSC El Paso faculty Richard McCallum, M.D. (left), and Navkiran Shokar, M.D., and El Paso Health Department Director Robert Resendes were on hand at City Hall for the proclamation of Colorectal Cancer Prevention Month.

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, who serves as assistant presiding officer for the oversight committee of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), said the fight against colorectal cancer is critical to the health of El Pasoans.

“CPRIT has provided millions of dollars in grants to TTUHSC El Paso for prevention of colorectal cancer,” Margo said. “There is a direct correlation between obesity and cancer, so it’s very important for our community that we pay attention, get ourselves tested and watch our diets accordingly.”

In 2017, CPRIT awarded TTUHSC El Paso Director for Cancer Prevention and Control Navkiran Shokar, M.D., M.P.H., M.A., a three-year, $3.7 million grant to expand the Southwest Coalition for Colorectal Cancer Screening (SuCCCeS) program across West Texas.

The program brings colorectal cancer screenings and preventative information to the community, in settings such as churches, health fairs, food pantries, low-income housing complexes, community centers and clinics serving the uninsured. The National Cancer Institute has added the program to its database of Research-Tested Intervention Programs, making instructional and educational materials available to public health practitioners across the world.