Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

State News

July 30, 2012

Oklahomans needed to enroll in historic cancer research effort

1,000 Oklahomans needed for study of cancer causes and prevention

Oklahomans have a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in the American Cancer Society nationwide Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). Five community partners in Oklahoma City will host the enrollment for the study.

Cancer Prevention Study-3 will follow the health of participants for more than 20 years to better understand the genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer.

“At the age of 20, I fought a difficult and painful battle against stage III lymphoma and underwent surgery and chemotherapy,” said Wade Brockway, a volunteer leader for the American Cancer Society. “If there is anything I could do to prevent others from going through what my family did, I would do it. As a cancer survivor, I can’t be a part of this project—but you can! We’re asking Oklahomans to come forward and participate in this vital opportunity.”

“Nationwide, 300,000 study participants are needed with twenty-five percent of participants from diverse populations,” says Dr. Robert Mannel, director of Stephenson Cancer Center at the OU Health Science Center, one of the community partners hosting an enrollment site for participants.  “The people of Oklahoma City have an unprecedented opportunity to be a part of a project that could change the face of cancer for future generations. We want to be sure that our community is well represented in this important research.”

 The study is open to anyone between 30 and 65 years old who has never been diagnosed with cancer, not including basal and squamous cell skin cancers. There are five enrollment sites throughout the Oklahoma City community scheduled to enroll participants from September 18– 22. Sites include: American Cancer Society Shared Services Center, Church of the Servant, Earlywine YMCA, St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church, and The Oklahoma University Health Science Center. Oklahomans can make appointments to participate in CPS-3 by going online at cancerstudyOK.org or by calling toll-free 1-888-604-5888.

  “When results of this study are published, we will be proud of Oklahoma’s involvement,” said Mannel. This study is an important undertaking and will be beneficial to our community.”

Those enrolling in the study will be asked to read and sign an informed consent form; complete a comprehensive survey that asks for information on lifestyle, behavioral, and other factors related to health; provide a waist circumference measurement; and give a small blood sample. Upon completion of this process, the Society will send periodic follow-up surveys to update information and annual newsletters with study updates and results. The in-person enrollment process takes approximately an hour to complete. Periodic follow-up surveys of various lengths are expected to be sent every few years to individual participants.

“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 in past studies. We’re looking for Oklahomans to sign up for this groundbreaking research,” said Lesa Foster, regional vice president of the Oklahoma region of the American Cancer Society.

For more information visit cancerstudyOK.org or call toll-free 1-888-604-5888.

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