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DHR Health Advanced Care Center to promote National Cancer Survivor Month during Tuesday, June 1 presentation before Edinburg City Council - Titans of the Texas Legislature

FEATURED: Net proceeds from the 1st AnnualPURPLE PROJECT: A 5K FOR ALL CANCERS will benefit the cancer patients assisted through the Renaissance Cancer Foundation. The Renaissance Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2008. Its mission is to provide financial assistance to uninsured cancer patients in the Rio Grande Valley.



DHR Health Advanced Care Center to promote National Cancer Survivor Month during Tuesday, June 1 presentation before Edinburg City Council

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Representatives with the DHR Health Advanced Care Center on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, during the Edinburg City Council’s regular meeting, will promote June 2021 as National Cancer Survivor Month as well as report on the hospital system’s plan to host the inaugural PURPLE PROJECT: a 5K FOR ALL CANCERS, which is set for Saturday, June 26, 2021, beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the Edinburg Municipal Park.

The Tuesday, June 1, 2021city council session, which will be held at Edinburg City Hall beginning at 6 p.m., is open to the public. Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the city will observe all restrictions in place regarding room capacity and crowd sizes.

During the month of June, U.S. residents annually celebrate the nearly 17 million Americans who have bravely and successfully battled cancer to earn the designation “Survivor”, according to the National Foundation for Cancer Research, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides scientists in the lab the funding they need to make game-changing discoveries in cancer treatments, detection, prevention, and ultimately a cure.

The DHR Health Advanced Care Center is located in the DHR Health Oncology Institute, 2717 Michaelangelo Drive in Edinburg. The DHR Health Oncology Institute specializes in Hematology, Internal Medicine, Hematology/Oncology, Medical Oncology, and Radiation Oncology, according to its website.

“To raise awareness of National Cancer Survivor Month, the DHR Health Advanced Care Center (oncology department) is hosting the inaugural PURPLE PROJECT: A 5K FOR ALL CANCERS,” explained in a recent posting on the DHR Health Facebook. “We invite the community to join us to celebrate hope for the healing of all cancer patients! Be part of our efforts to demonstrate that life after a cancer diagnosis can be a reality! Also, help us spread the word on the importance of early detection.”

Purple is a color used to represent cancer survivors.

Net proceeds from the 1st Annual PROJECT PURPLE: A 5K FOR ALL CANCERSwill benefit the cancer patients assisted through the Renaissance Cancer Foundation. The Renaissance Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2008. Our mission is to provide financial assistance to uninsured cancer patients in the Rio Grande Valley.

Carlos A. Herrera, M.D., FACOG, with the DHR Health Oncology Institute, expressed his view that the more information people have about cancer – cancer is a disease in which some of the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body –the better prepared they and their loved ones are to prevent and treat the disease.

“Always be aware of symptoms, not only for yourself but for your family and friends as well. That’s why events such as the run we’re going to have are very important,” Herrera said in a broadcast interview with Kenia Gómez, Communications and Media, City of Edinburg. “If you bring awareness to this situation, it helps a lot in knowing what to do, and you are also going to meet survivors, which will encourage people even more.”

As a gynecology oncologist, Herrera’s focus of care includes the medical and surgical management of cancers such as vulvar, cervical, endometrial, ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal.

“Cancer has gotten to the point that not only can we prevent it, but we can treat it early,” he emphasized. “If you are a woman and you feel a lump in your breast or if you have irregular bleeding or anything that goes beyond what is normal to you, assess it with a doctor’s visit. Never be shy about it. Never ignore anything. If you detect it early, it is curable.”

The American Cancer Society recommends several ways to help reduce the risk of cancer like eating right, staying active, and not smoking. It’s also important to follow recommended screening guidelines, which can help detect certain cancers early.

“Avoiding or reducing obesity, eating healthier, getting enough sleep, and having regular physical activity are among important ways to prevent cancer,” Herrera said. “I was very overweight myself. I know when I was very overweight how bad I felt medically, and how you have to change that in order to feel better.”

Exercise regularly, the American Cancer Society also advises. Physical activity has been linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer. Exercise also appears to reduce a woman’s risk of breast and possibly reproductive cancers. Exercise will help protect a person even if he/she doesn’t lose weight.

“Just have a good balance in your life. It does not mean you can not have a burger or ice cream. God knows we all do, just don’t do it all the time. Pamper yourselves sometimes. If you don’t pamper yourself and always try to be very hard about it, you are going to be in a lot of trouble because you are going to have cravings,” Herrera said. “Let’s assume once a week or once a month, give yourself a break and do that. Those are the big things.”

Herrera’s complete interview with Gómez is available online at:

Anchored in southwest Edinburg, with a growing presence in neighboring McAllen, DHR Health offers some of the most comprehensive medical care on the U.S. southern border, with more than 1,400 nurses and 600+ physicians providing care in 70+ specialties and sub-specialties.

DHR Health is the flagship teaching hospital for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine and encompasses a general acute hospital with the only dedicated women’s hospital south of San Antonio, a rehabilitation hospital, a behavioral hospital, more than 70 clinics Valley-wide, advanced cancer services, the only transplant program in the Rio Grande Valley – and the only functioning 24/7 Level 1 Trauma Center south of San Antonio.

Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, Ltd (“DHR”) and its general partner, RGV Med, Inc. (“RGV Med”) own and operate a 519 licensed bed general acute care hospital located at 5501 South McColl in Edinburg. The facility is one of the largest physician-owned facilities in the United States that began as an ambulatory surgery center in 1997.

DHR Health is headquartered on a 130-acre site, with most of the facilities in southwest Edinburg but with a growing presence in McAllen, including its South Campus located immediately across Owassa Road in northeast McAllen.

In a story posted almost a year ago, on Monday, June 1, 2020, Brittany Ciupka, a writer for the National Foundation for Cancer Research, provided an in-depth news release, titled “Celebration National Cancer Survivor Month”, which follows:

During the month of June, we celebrate the nearly 17 million Americans who have bravely and successfully battled cancer, to earn the designation SURVIVOR.

Whether someone is still undergoing treatment or has long since won their battle against cancer, June is an opportunity to celebrate all cancer survivors. Nationally recognized as Cancer Survivor Month, June is an opportunity for all16.9 million cancer survivors across the country to celebrate their milestones and recognize those who have supported them along the way.

It is also an opportunity for those who have not been affected by cancer to learn and understand the challenges that accompany survivorship. This year, whether a survivor or not, there are many opportunities to embrace National Cancer Survivor Month.

Celebrating Cancer Survivors

Many people who have not battled cancer are under the misconception that once treatment ends, the difficulties related to cancer come to a screeching stop. The truth is, however, moving forward as a survivor is accompanied by many new struggles.

As cancer survivors navigate new challenges, many of the support systems they had throughout treatment waver making adjusting to their new normal exceptionally challenging and isolating.

Along with survivorship often comes physical, emotional, and financial hardship. Though often only the tip of the iceberg, treatment leaves the human body fatigued and weak. It often takes a long time for the body to adjust and adapt to the new normal.

Even while understanding this in theory, it can be especially demotivating to survivors. Most feel the urge to jump back into an old routine and pick up where one left off; however, when the body isn’t ready or capable to do so, it can be especially demoralizing. Aside from the frustration of setting new limits on oneself, survivor’s guilt can result in mental health issues.

This month, as survivors are celebrated and honored, it is important to remember that the battle is not necessarily over. Celebrating National Cancer Survivor Month means remembering to check in, offer support, and share resources to assist with coping moving forward. Survivorship in and of itself is a milestone to celebrate, but it is not the end of the challenging path.

Celebrating as a Cancer Survivor

One of the most impactful ways to celebrate National Cancer Survivor Month as a survivor is to share one’s story. Every day, handfuls of people across the world are being diagnosed with cancer. Any survivor can remember the moment that they were diagnosed – the moment that made their stomach sink.

With all of the information in the world at one’s fingertips, a newly diagnosed person will likely absorb as much information as they can about their new diagnosis.

While statistics and figures can be helpful in the beginning, having a human connection and hearing a personal experience can be truly significant.

The National Foundation for Cancer Research is dedicated to connecting those affected by cancer.

For those willing to share their story, please visit Faces and Voices of Cancer at:

Increasing Cancer Survivorship Together

Thanks to dedicated research teams, cancer survivor rates are continuing to increase. Many types of cancers are considered extremely treatable.

To continue this upwards trend, it is important that everyone, regardless of whether or not they have had cancer in the past, schedule regular screening appointments as recommended.  Abiding by the cancer screening guidelines assists in early detection, ultimately increasing one’s chance of survival.

Additional Related Articles

Survivor’s Guilt: The Ongoing Battle
A Letter of Hope from Mother and Cancer Survivor
Movement and Its Many Benefits—Especially For Cancer Survivors

Stay connected with The National Foundation for Cancer Research! Receive that organization’s monthly e-newsletter and blogs featuring stories of inspiration, support resources, cancer prevention tips, and more. Sign up here.


On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) announced it had awarded 20 academic research grants and five prevention grants totaling over $69 million—including more than $31 million awarded to four University of Texas institutions—to advance cancer research and prevention efforts.

UT Austin, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center and UT Southwestern Medical Center were each awarded grants to recruit outstanding cancer research talent to Texas. Research training grants were awarded to UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, UT Southwestern, and UTHealth in Houston.

UT Austin was one of only two organizations statewide to receive a $4 million “Rising Stars” grant to recruit an early-stage investigator who already has made exceptional accomplishments in cancer research.

In addition, UT Austin received $2 million for a “First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty” grant, which is awarded to recruit promising researchers pursuing their first faculty appointment.

MD Anderson also received a $2 million “First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty” award, while UT Southwestern was awarded $8 million for these potential recruits, known as CPRIT Scholars.

Research training grants are awarded to specialized training programs that are preparing the next generation of physician-scientists. UTHealth was awarded two of these grants, totaling nearly $8 million, while MD Anderson was awarded $4 million and UT Southwestern received more than $3.7 million for research training programs at their institutions.

CPRIT was established after Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2007 authorizing the state to issue $3 billion in bonds to fund groundbreaking cancer research and prevention programs and services. In November 2019, Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment to provide an additional $3 billion to CPRIT for a total $6 billion investment in cancer research and prevention.

Today, CPRIT is the largest state research investment in the history of the United States and the second largest cancer research and prevention program in the world. More than $2.7 billion—including over $1.3 billion to UT institutions—has been awarded to support research and programs that benefit Texans in every area of the state.

About The University of Texas System

For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care.

With 13 institutions, an enrollment of more than 243,000 students, and an operating budget of $21.7 billion (FY 2021), the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States.

UT institutions produce more than 64,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and more than half of its medical degrees.

Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 8.6 million outpatient visits and almost 1.8 million hospital days in 2020.

UT institutions also are among the most innovative in the world, collectively ranking No. 3 for most U.S. patents granted in 2019, and the UT System is No. 1 in Texas and No. 2 in the nation in federal research expenditures.

The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 21,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and more than 85,000 health care professionals, researchers, and support staff.


Karen Adler contributed to this article. For more on this and other Texas legislative news stories that affect the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan region, please log on to Titans of the Texas Legislature (

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