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Cancer Society seeks local volunteers for CPS-3 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, July 17, 2013 11:54 PM

BY ED GEBERT

DHI Correspondent

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VAN WERT — The American Cancer Society (ACS) is gearing up for what is called its last major cancer study and the organization is seeking volunteers locally. Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) is actually a nationwide study to help researchers better understand genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that could cause or prevent cancer.

A kick-off event will be held July 25 at the Gaylord E. Leslie Wellness Center to help train people to get the word out and pull in participants. Registration begins at noon with a light lunch, then a presentation about the study.

“We’re trying to get people to be champions and as champions we want them to go out and talk to everybody they possibly can who would be interested in enrolling in the study,” said ACS Health Initiatives Representative Marybeth Torsell. “It’s a one-hour long program where they can learn everything about CPS-3 so they are comfortable and know how to answer any questions. Word of mouth is what gets people to participate in this study, so we want everybody to be armed with all the information so they can get as many people as they can to enroll.”

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Americans to participate in lifesaving cancer research,” said Alpa Patel, PhD, Strategic Director, Epidemiology Research Program of the American Cancer Society. “We are excited to partner with Van Wert Hospital, Wright State University Lake Campus, Grand Lake Health System, Mercer Health and the Grand Lake Regional Cancer Center to offer this opportunity for area residents to make an appointment and enroll in the study this September and October. Our goal is to recruit 40 or more CPS-3 champions and enroll a total of at least 416 participants during this time. In order to reach these targets, we need passionate people who are committed to fighting cancer. While the American Cancer Society has been conducting these types of studies for decades, their world-class research department can only study new and emerging cancer risks if members of the community are willing to become involved.”

To participate in the study itself, you must be between the ages of 30 and 65 and have never been diagnosed with cancer. The study will enlist the help of 300,000 people across the country. Any cancer survivor, caregiver or anyone interested in honoring someone who has battled cancer is especially invited to be a CPS-3 champion and help bring in participants.

“CPS-3 is what is going to find a cure for cancer,” Torsell predicted. “The very first study found the link between smoking and lung cancer. The second one found a link between secondhand smoke and increasing risk of lung cancer as well as obesity causing cancer. This one is the third and final study they are going to do. What they want to look at is environmental, lifestyle and genetic factors.”

There is a survey to complete before the study begins this fall. This can be done online in about 30 minutes and answers will be kept confidential.

“Then, on the day of your appointment, come to the Wellness Center, you do another quick survey, then you get your waist measured and a couple of vials of blood drawn,” Torsell said. “That blood is shipped off and stored. It won’t be looked at. If you are diagnosed with cancer, they will pull out your blood and try to figure out why — environmental, behavioral, genetic — they’re going to look for a link. If you never are diagnosed with cancer, they will pull your blood out to see what you did.”

Torsell pointed out that there will be brief surveys to complete either by mail or online every two to three years but those are designed to keep your health information current.

“It’s basically eight hours total over the rest of your lifetime,” she noted.

Those interested in learning to be a CPS-3 champion should RSVP as soon as possible to Torsell at (888) 227-6446, ext. 5101. If someone cannot attend the kick off but still wants to be a champion, that person should also contact Torsell for more information.

“Many individuals diagnosed with cancer struggle to answer the question, ‘What caused my cancer?’ In many cases, we don’t know the answer,” said Patel. “CPS-3 will help us better understand what factors cause cancer, and once we know that, we can be better equipped to prevent cancer.”

 

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