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Defeating Cancer By The Numbers



August 26, 2013

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Cancer is a disease that often develops over months and years, and it can also take time to defeat it. The American Cancer Society of South Dakota is looking for volunteers in the Aberdeen and Rapid City areas to take part in a long-term study, called "Cancer Prevention Study 3."

Jill Ireland, the state lead for the ambitious program, described what's involved.

"And our goal is to recruit 1,000 individuals from these communities," she said. "So we are really looking for South Dakotans to enroll in this unique opportunity so scientists can better understand risk factors within diverse populations, as well as leverage new technology which will help us improve the understanding of how cancer develops and how we can predict risk."

The sign-up period will be September 10 through 12 in Aberdeen, and October 22 through 24 in Rapid City.

According to Ireland, the sign-up will be quick and easy.

"We will have them complete a survey asking them some questions about their diet, activity, sun exposure and some other medical, like their background, any medications they may be taking," she specified. "And then there's a waist measurement and a small blood sample, and at that point, they are enrolled in the study and they will get follow-up surveys every other year."

Ireland said they are asking those that sign up to stay with the study for 20 to 30 years: Tracking people over a long time span provides the needed information for a scientific study.

"We are asking people to make a long-term commitment, and that's important because we need to keep these individuals in the study over a long period of time, because large-scale studies like CPS-3 are scientifically valid only if you can successfully track and then follow participants over time."

Sign-ups are also available online, at CPS3Aberdeen.org or at CPS3RapidCity.org.

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD