Health Science Center to offer free screenings, presentation by cancer faculty members Oct. 27

LAREDO (Sept. 23, 2011) — A cancer prevention, early detection and treatment workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Oct. 27, at the Regional Campus of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, located at 1937 E. Bustamante Street. The workshop is free and open to the public.

Offered in collaboration with numerous community partners in Laredo, the workshop will feature cancer information and screenings from 8 to 10:30 a.m. followed by a special presentation at 10:30 a.m. on prostate and breast cancer by two faculty physician-researchers from UT Medicine San Antonio, the faculty practice of the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center.

Cancer presentation
Ian Thompson Jr., M.D., an internationally known expert in prostate cancer, is director of the university’s Cancer Therapy & Research Center, one of only four National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in Texas. Dr. Thompson is a professor in the Department of Urology and holds the Glenda and Gary Woods Distinguished Chair in Genitourinary Oncology and Henry B. and Edna Smith Dielman Memorial Chair in Urologic Science.

Dr. Thompson was the primary coordinator of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, the largest prostate cancer study ever conducted. The author of more than 500 research publications, Dr. Thompson also developed a tool to calculate a man’s individual risk of developing prostate cancer. He serves as vice chair of the NCI’s Early Detection Research Network, chair of the Genitourinary Committee of the Southwest Oncology Group, one of the largest clinical trials organization supported by the NCI, and is a visiting professor at many universities throughout the nation and abroad.

Alfredo A. Santillan-Gomez, M.D., M.P.H., an accomplished surgeon, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Surgery’s Division of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery. He earned his medical degree with honors from Monterrey Tec Medical School, completed a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University and was awarded the Alando J. Ballantyne, M.D., Distinguished Fellowship in head and neck surgery while a senior surgery resident at the UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. He went on for advanced training in surgical oncology at the Moffitt Cancer Center, affiliated with the University of South Florida.

Dr. Santillan’s areas of expertise include oncologic and endocrine surgery with an emphasis on diseases of the breast, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal gland and colon, as well as melanoma and sarcoma. He has specialized skills in sentinel lymph node biopsy for breast cancer and melanoma, breast conservation, skin-sparing mastectomy with reconstruction, and minimally invasive endocrine surgery, including minimally invasive radioguided parathyroidectomy, minimally invasive thyroidectomy, recurrent laryngeal nerve monitoring and laparoscopic adrenalectomy.

Community cancer screenings
Cancer screenings and information will include:

  • Melanoma and skin cancer education and screenings provided by Doctors Hospital of Laredo and Laredo Specialty Hospital;
  • Prostate cancer and pulmonary function screenings offered by Laredo Medical Center;
  • Breast and cervical cancer information, and private instruction on how to conduct a breast self-exam, provided by Mercy Ministries of Laredo;
  • Registration for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings to be conducted later at the City of Laredo Health Department;
  • Cancer educational information provided by the Laredo chapter of the American Cancer Society and Gateway Community Health Center.

For more information about the event, please contact Lourdes Castañeda by email or 523-7473.


The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the elite academic cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Center, and is one of only four in Texas. A leader in developing new drugs to treat cancer, the CTRC Institute for Drug Development (IDD) conducts one of the largest oncology Phase I clinical drug programs in the world, and participates in development of cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. For more information, visit

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