American Cancer Society looks to stop cancer through study

Group hopes people in Jacksonville will participate in new study

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As it celebrates its 100th birthday, the American Cancer Society is looking to residents in the Jacksonville area to help finish the fight against cancer by reaching full enrollment in a historic research study.

Organizers say the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) will give scientists a better understanding of cancer causes and prevention. The Society is looking for local men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 from various racial/ethnic backgrounds with no personal history of cancer to help reach full enrollment of at least 300,000 people.

There will be five opportunities in the area for local residents to enroll in CPS-3:

•Florida Blue
4800 Deerwood Campus Parkway
Jacksonville, FL 32246
November 5, 2013, 7:30 am-12 noon
November 7, 2013, 2-5:30 pm

•Baptist Medical Center - Downtown
800 Prudential Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32207
November 6, 2013, 3-6:30 pm

•Baptist Medical Center - South
14550 Old St. Augustine Road
Jacksonville, FL 32258
November 8, 2013, 7-10:30 am

•Baptist Medical Center – Beaches
1350 13th Ave S
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
November 8, 2013, 7-10:30 am

Participants must schedule an appointment prior to their actual enrollment in the study. This can be done online at cancer.org/cps3florida or by calling 1-888-604-5888.

Cheryl Okcular, an American Cancer Society volunteer and a cancer survivor says the study will take about 20 to 30 years to complete but will provide invaluable information.

"We're going to test their lifestyle," Okcular says. "We're going to have questions for them over that period of time where they document what they eat their lifestyle their exercises and so on and were going to see if things that people do are a reason they get cancer."

Signing up requires a one-time in-person visit to read and sign a consent form, complete a survey, have your waist measured, and give a small non-fasting blood sample like what you'd do during a routine doctor visit.

"By joining this study, people can literally help us save lives, giving future generations more time with families and friends, more memories, more celebrations, and more birthdays," said Mel Toran, Senior Director, Community Engagement for the American Cancer Society. "As the official sponsor of birthdays, celebrating our own 100th birthday in 2013, we can think of no more valuable contribution to the cancer fight."

Participants will also complete a more detailed survey at home and will continue to receive periodic follow-up surveys in the future that researchers will use to look for more clues to cancer's causes.

"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."

CPS-3 is the latest addition to the Society's groundbreaking cancer prevention studies, which have been instrumental in helping identify major factors that can affect cancer risk. Researchers say CPS-3 holds the best hope of identifying new and emerging cancer risks. But its success depends on members of the community becoming involved. Researchers will use data from CPS-3 to build on evidence from those earlier cancer prevention studies, which began in the 1950s and involved hundreds of thousands of volunteer participants.

"Among other findings, these cancer prevention studies have 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," said Toran. "Changes in lifestyle over the past several decades as well as a better understanding of cancer make this latest chapter in this lifesaving series of studies a critical part of continuing the progress we're seeing against the disease."

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, officials say they fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community.

The group says they work to save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight.

As the nation's largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, the organization they work to turn what they know about cancer into what we do. As a result, they say more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, you can call the American Cancer Society any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.