Minnesotans Asked to Help Find Answers to Cancer
IMAGE: The American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study-3 is giving Minnesotans a chance to get directly involved in life-saving cancer research. Courtesy of the ACS.
April 3, 2013
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The search is on for thousands of Minnesotans who may be able to help researchers find the answers to cancer.
The American Cancer Society is looking to enroll 300,000 people nationwide to take part in Cancer Prevention Study 3. In Minnesota, said principal investigator Alpa Patel, researchers are looking for about 4,000 participants. Enrollment starts this week in Duluth.
"And then, we have some enrollments happening - St. Cloud and the Twin Cities - within the next couple of months," she said. "You can find out about all those different enrollments if you go to cancer.org/cps3."
Those taking part will start with a half-hour appointment. From there, Patel said, they fill out a short survey at home every year or two for the next 20 to 30 years.
"We track what they do in their everyday life, what they're exposed to, how they live, their lifestyle, their behaviors," she said. "Then, we also look at genetics and other factors and how all of those things work together to affect a person's risk of developing or dying of cancer."
Combined, the first two cancer prevention studies led to more than 500 findings in terms of the causes of cancer, she said.
"When CPS 1 began in the 1950s, cancer was virtually always a death sentence," she said. "Today, the majority of people who hear those words 'You have cancer' survive that cancer diagnosis. So, we've made tremendous progress, and this is really our generation's time to pay it forward for our kids and our kids' kids."
Despite the progress, she noted, one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer in her lifetime. For men, it's one in two.
The most recent Cancer Prevention Study found a link between obesity and 10 common cancers. The first study led to evidence linking smoking and lung cancer.
More information is online at cancer.org.