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Laura Kessel is managing editor of The News-Herald in Willoughby. She writes a weekly column and shares her thoughts here.

Friday, April 19, 2013

If we spend a few minutes, we might help cure cancer

Today, I call on everyone reading this to join me in helping to find a cure for cancer.

Bold statement? Yes.

True statement? Yes.

I’m asking you to register to take part in what’s called Cancer Prevention Study 3, which is a longterm American Cancer Society study that “helps researchers better understand the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer.”

When I say longterm, please don’t misunderstand: This is a study that runs at least 20 years.

It’s worth the effort, though, when you look at the results of the previous Cancer Prevention Studies.

Yes, in case you wondered what the 3 in CPS3 signified, it means that there were two previous studies of this kind conducted by the American Cancer Society.

Americans likely are very familiar with the results of CPS1, which was the first study to link smoking to lung cancer. It was conducted from 1959 through 1972.

CPS2 detailed the link between cancer and obesity and other lifestyle choices. CPS2 started in 1982 and is ongoing.

Now, it’s time for CPS3.

And, that’s where you come in.

The previous incarnations of this study have involved upwards of 300,000 people across the United States.

For the first time, residents in Lake County are being actively recruited to join the study and, as the American Cancer Society’s slogan says, help provide more birthdays.

I’m going to be honest with you — this study involves a needle.

But once you get past that, it’s smooth sailing.

Those who sign up fill out a questionnaire that takes about 20 minutes, and submit to having a blood sample drawn. The blood is stored and only studied in the event that you later report you’ve been diagnosed with cancer.

That brings me to the duration part of the study. Participants also pledge to fill out questionnaires that are sent out every two or three years. They ask about your lifestyle and health developments since the last time you checked in. Those updates take about 20 minutes.

Officials from the American Cancer Society stress that a longterm committment is “vital to the success of the study.”

Gauri Wadhwa, ACS’s heath initiatives representative for Lake County, said that in previous studies, it became clear that those in their 20s didn’t make good test subjects, because they were still very transient and weren’t often diagnosed with cancer. She said those older than 65 often had trouble calling on memories from their younger years to recount how active they were or other lifestyle issues.

Wadhwa said that explains why those sought for CPS3 are ages 30 to 65.

Those taking part also cannot have been diagnosed any type of cancer other than basal or squamous cell skin cancer.

Before I started writing this, I registered for an appointment to begin my study participation. The registration is simple, and is easily accomplished online at www.LakeCPS3.org. There you’ll find six enrollment sites that will be hosting events from June 26-30. There’s a final one on July 13 at the Western Lake County Relay for Life.

You can also call 888-604-5888.

If you live in Geauga or Eastern Cuyahoga counties, you can register at the same website.

I want to stress that you must register for these appointments; you cannot simply walk up that day and expect to sign up.

I’ll be at the Lake County General Health District at 8:30 a.m. June 26.

When I heard about the study, it was a no-brainer for me. Of course I’d take part.

I’m the daughter of a man who died from colon cancer. His four brothers also died of cancer, each about a year apart in the time that surrounded my dad’s death.

Cancer also killed my mom’s brother.

I’m sure many of you have stories just like this in your lives. You know the tragedy of cancer firsthand. You know the pain it causes not only to its victims but to those left behind.

And, you, like me, would give anything to never have to endure it again.

Now’s your chance to try to help ensure it doesn’t happen for countless families like ours.
Go to LakeCPS3.org and register for the study.

Together, we just might be able to change the world.

LKessel@News-Herald.com
Twitter: @Lauranh

2 Comments:

Blogger Amy Lauria said...

Thank you Laura Kessel for givng me ONE MORE thing to do!!! Sigh...I'm signed up. Lots of Ovarian/Breast Cancer running through the family. I had genetic testing 8 years ago and am BRCA1 positive. Anything to help the cause, for our generation and the generations to follow...

April 30, 2013 at 12:24 PM 
Blogger samanth dixan said...

The contents has provided meaningful information on Cancer Prevention Thanks for sharing info...
Great

May 31, 2013 at 12:40 AM 

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