Researchers from Mays Cancers Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, are changing cancer’s impact through community outreach and engagement.
We’ve spent years learning about how cancer affects the people of South Texas. This information helps us engage with our community in meaningful ways to reduce it.
South Texas Cancer Burden
Mays Cancer Center cares for patients from a 38-county region that runs south from San Antonio to the Texas-Mexico border. Our experience treating patients across all stages of cancer, along with our novel research, provides important insights into the disease’s burden in our community.
The unique ways cancer affects people in South Texas include:
Our region is predominantly (69%) Latino. Cancer is the leading cause of death among Latinos in Texas.
Our region has a disproportionately high incidence of gastric and liver cancers compared to Texas and the nation.
Childhood and adolescent leukemia rates are significantly higher in South Texas than in the rest of the state.
More than one-third (38%) of adults in the region are obese, and approximately 16% of adults are current smokers. These factors increase cancer risk at a population level.
About 15% of people in South Texas do not have insurance, making it difficult for them to access care.
Many residents are not aware of cancer screening guidelines and do not follow current cancer prevention recommendations.
Areas of Work
To maximize our impact on reducing the cancer burden in South Texas, our efforts focus on four primary areas of work.
We are taking steps to prevent cancer through culturally appropriate efforts that include:
Continuous cancer surveillance and risk factor monitoring