Cervical and Breast Cancer Programs Receive $2.2 Million Boost

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) recently announced that it would award almost $2.2 million in funding to two separate projects addressing cervical and breast cancer screening in our region. Both projects are led by Navkiran Shokar, M.D., MPH, associate professor, Dept. of Family and Community Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and director of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program in the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) at El Paso Center of Excellence in Cancer.

The El Paso and Hudspeth County Breast Cancer Education, Screening and Navigation (BEST) Project will provide free education, mammograms, further testing and navigation services for women qualifying for breast cancer screenings.

De Casa en Casa: Preventing Cervical Cancer in El Paso and Hudspeth County (De CASA) will provide free education, pap smears, colposcopy testing and navigation services for women qualifying for cervical cancer screenings.  “It will also support colposcopy training for family medicine resident physicians, encouraging them to offer these services in their practices after graduation,” said Dr. Shokar.

“These programs exemplify the wonderful opportunity we have here at TTUHSC to use the cancer research and medical training conducted at our school for the benefit of the El Paso community,” said Rajkumar Lakshmanaswamy, Ph.D., associate dean for research at TTUHSC at El Paso.  “Serving the community has always been a priority for Dr. Shokar.  We are very proud of her recent CPRIT funding in addition to all of her past grant funding successes.”

“These projects will provide access to testing and support throughout the process for women that would otherwise not get screened. These projects also represent a collaboration across multiple TTUHSC clinical departments, University Medical Center at El Paso and a multitude of community organizations throughout the County,” said Dr. Shokar.