Kalamazoo, Mich. - What if you could prevent even one family member from hearing the words, "You have cancer"? The American Cancer Society is seeking cancer fighters in the Southwest Michigan area who want to enroll in Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3), a historic nationwide study to help researchers better understand the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Americans to participate in lifesaving cancer research," said Crystal Parish, director, American Cancer Society Southwest Michigan Office in Portage. "We are excited to offer a week-long opportunity for area residents to make an appointment and enroll in the study at their convenience beginning Oct. 30. We are looking for 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."
Men and women who are willing to commit to the study must be between the ages of 30 and 65 and never have been diagnosed with cancer. The study will enroll a diverse population of 300,000 people across the United States. To enroll, individuals provide a waist measurement, give a small blood sample and complete a comprehensive survey online or at the enrollment site. Over the course of the study, participants will be asked to fill out follow-up surveys every few years.
"Many individuals diagnosed with cancer struggle to answer the question, 'What caused my cancer?' In many cases, we don't know the answer," said Alpa V. Patel, Ph.D., principal investigator of CPS-3. "CPS-3 will help us better understand what factors cause cancer, and once we know that, we can be better equipped to prevent cancer." Dr. Patel added, "Our previous cancer prevention studies have been instrumental in helping us identify some of the major factors that can affect cancer risk. CPS-3 holds the best hope of identifying new and emerging cancer risks, and we can only do this if members of the community are willing to become involved."
Researchers will use the data from CPS-3 to build on evidence from a series of American Cancer Society studies that began in the 1950s that collectively have involved millions of volunteer participants. The Hammond-Horn Study and previous Cancer Prevention Studies (CPS-I, and CPS-II) have played a major role in understanding cancer prevention and risk, and have contributed significantly to the scientific basis and development of public health guidelines and recommendations.
Those studies confirmed the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, demonstrated the link between larger waist size and increased death rates from cancer and other causes, and showed the considerable impact of air pollution on heart and lung conditions. The current study, CPS-II, began in 1982 and is still ongoing. But changes in lifestyle and in the understanding of cancer in the more than two decades since its launch make it important to begin a new study.
The voluntary long-term commitment by participants is what will produce benefits for decades to come. "Taking an hour or so every few years to fill out a survey and potentially save someone from being diagnosed with cancer in the future is a commitment that thousands of volunteer participants have already made. We're looking for more like-minded individuals in Southwest Michigan to join this effort that we know will save lives and improve the outlook for future generations," said Dr. Patel.
For more information about CPS-3, visit www.cancer.org/cps3 or call toll-free 1-888-604-5888.
Enrollment in the study will take place at five different sites in the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek area Oct. 30 through Nov. 8. Walk-ins are welcome. The sites include:
Bronson Health - Jasper Clinic
526 Jasper St., Kalamazoo
Tuesday, Oct. 30
3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
200 Van Buren St. West, Battle Creek
Thursday, Nov. 1
2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
YMCA of Portage
2900 West Centre, Portage
Saturday, Nov. 3
9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
1521 Gull Road, Kalamazoo
Wednesday, Nov. 7
2 p.m. top 5:30 p.m.
West Michigan Cancer Center
200 North Park Street, Kalamazoo
Thursday, Nov. 8
4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.