A decision that could change tomorrow

By on June 5, 2013

By:

DENA REEDY Review Staff

, Staff Writer

A decision you make today could save a life tomorrow.

Lancaster County residents have an opportunity to participate in a nationwide cancer prevention research study that has the potential to protect future generations from getting cancer, according to information from the American Cancer Society.

"I would absolutely encourage anybody who is interested in making a difference in the fight against cancer to participate in the Cancer Prevention Study 3," Kelly Edwards, health initiatives representative for the East Central Division of the American Cancer Society, said. "By becoming a participant, you are helping our children, our grandchildren and all future generations have a better chance that they will never have to hear the words ‘you have cancer.’"

In order to enroll in the study, you must be:

- Between the ages of 30 and 65

- Have never had a cancer diagnosis

- Be willing to participate long term

"We can make an exception for basal or squamous cell skin carcinomas," Edwards said regarding the criteria for not having a cancer diagnosis.

As for the long-term commitment, Edwards said participants will be followed for 20-30 years via a survey that is mailed to their homes for completion every other year.

"These surveys take about 15 minutes to complete and mail back," she said. "Meaning that there will be a few hours total dedicated to the study over 20-30 years."

Edwards said this study is important.

"The more people that we can enroll into CPS-3, the more data will be available to analyze," she said. "With this data, we can start to explore certain lifestyle components and their correlations to cancer diagnosis."

"We found a correlation between tobacco use and lung cancer," Edwards said with the original Cancer Prevention Study that was held in the mid-50s.

"Through Cancer Prevention Study 2 in the 80s we found a distinct correlation between obesity and chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes," she said. "We don’t know what we will find through Cancer Prevention Study 3, but we do know that the more participants there are, the more we can explore and ultimately learn about what causes cancer."

The long-term benefits of this study definitely reside within our future generations, according to Edwards.

"We are currently seeing the benefits of the work that the enrollees of Cancer Prevention Study and Cancer Prevention Study 2 completed in the Clean Indoor Air Act, as well as updates in recommendations of nutrition and physical activity," Edwards said. "Enrolling in this study isn’t something that you do for yourself, it is an act that you do to honor those who have battled cancer and to make a better life for those who will come after us."

Those interested in enrolling in CPS-3 can visit www.EphrataCPS3.org to sign up for an appointment. Physical enrollment will take place at the Ephrata Community Hospital Health Pavilion Rooms A and B July 10, 11 and 13. At that time, participants will also be asked to sign a consent form, complete a brief survey, provide a waist circumference measurement, and give a small blood sample.

"We’re excited about the opportunity to help our community participate in this important American Cancer Society study," Joanne Eshelman, director of community relations at Ephrata Community Hospital, said. "We offer excellent resources for members of our community who need cancer treatment, we frequently conduct cancer screenings and we certainly want to support research that might someday find a way to reduce the number of people who experience this disease."

The American Cancer Society hopes to enroll 300,000 people in CPS-3 by Dec. 31 on a national level. The goal for the partnership between Ephrata Community Hospital and the American Cancer Society on a local enrollment is 250.

For more information contact Edwards at kelly.edwards@cancer.org, or call 397-3745 or 1-888-604-5888 or visit www.cancer.oprg/cps3.

More CANCER, page A17

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