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'Less Cancer and More Birthdays' Goal of Cancer Prevention Study: Volunteers Needed

By Lois Thomson

A world with "less cancer and more birthdays." That's the idea behind the Cancer Prevention Study-3, with study participant enrollments scheduled to take place in May and June at various locations in Washington, Beaver, Butler, Allegheny, Greene and Indiana Counties.

Funded and managed by the American Cancer Society's Epidemiology Research Program, the study is looking for volunteers between the ages of 30 and 65, who have never been diagnosed with cancer, and who are willing to make a long-term commitment for the next 20 to 30 years. The study enrollment goal is 300,000 nationally, while an additional 2,200 participants are needed to enroll in Western Pennsylvania by 12/31/13.

At community locations, an appointment to enroll can be made by visiting the online scheduling site at www.greaterpittsburghcps3.org.

The enrollment process involves two stages: the first takes place at a local site where participants will be asked to sign a consent form, complete a brief survey, provide a waist circumference measurement, and allow a small blood sample to be taken by a trained phlebotomist.

The second stage occurs at home, where participants will be asked to complete a more detailed survey that asks questions about lifestyle, behavior, and other factors related to the person's health. Following that, volunteers will receive a survey every two to three years to update their information.

The goal of CPS-3 is to better understand ways to prevent cancer. People are asked to make a long-term commitment because large-scale studies are considered valid only if they can successfully track the participants over time. Likewise, the study is hoping to enroll at least 25 percent minority representation, to determine whether risk factors for cancer are different across various racial/ethnic groups.

As information is collected and updated, if cases of cancer arise, a comparison will be made between participants who develop cancer and those who do not. In this way, the study may be able to determine the differences – i.e., lifestyle, environment, genetic factors – between people who get cancer and those who don't, what the likely risks are, and how to best prevent cancer.

Every effort will be made to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this study. Collected data will be labeled with a unique ID number, and everything – including blood samples, questionnaires, etc. – will be kept separately from any personal indicators, such as name, address, or social security number. All materials related to the study will be stored in a locked facility or in secured computer files, with only a limited number of CPS staff permitted accessibility.

Participants will not receive any payment for being part of the study, but should receive satisfaction in knowing that the knowledge gained may help reduce the burden of cancer for future generations. Join the movement for less cancer and more birthdays!

Help meet our enrollment goal of 100 enrollees at each site! Enrollment in this area is May 21 from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Wilfred R. Cameron Wellness Center, which is associated with The Washington Hospital, Conference Rooms A + B, in Washington, Pa.

To schedule an appointment, call 1-888-604-5888 or visit www.greaterpittsburghcps3.org.

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