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If You Could Help Reduce Cancer and Save Lives, Would You?

PHOTO: The American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study-3 is giving Minnesotans a chance to get directly involved in life-saving cancer research. Volunteers should be between the ages of 30 and 65; and more men and minorities are especially needed. CREDIT: ACS
PHOTO: The American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study-3 is giving Minnesotans a chance to get directly involved in life-saving cancer research. Volunteers should be between the ages of 30 and 65; and more men and minorities are especially needed. CREDIT: ACS
June 20, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. - There's an urgent need for Minnesotans who want to help save lives by taking part in new research into what causes cancer and ways that people can reduce their risk.

Enrollment in "Cancer Prevention Study 3" continues for one more week.

Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, said researchers need at least 1,000 more Minnesotans to sign up and hope to see more men during this final push.

"We especially need minorities. Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans are coming onto the trial in very low numbers," he said. "But we still need anybody who's interested in coming onto the trial. We need them to come on now. Again, the website would be cps3twincities.org."

With the June 27 deadline approaching, walk-ins now are being welcomed at any of the locations. Volunteers should be ages 30 to 65 and have no personal history of cancer.

Those who volunteer will take part in a one-time in-person visit, where they give blood and complete a couple of forms. From there, Brawley said, they just receive a letter or an email every year or two - for the next 20 years.

"We'll ask things like, 'What did you have for lunch today?' 'How much exercise have you had in the last week?' Actually after asking questions like this over a long period of time and looking at what happens to folks, we can make correlations."

The correlation between smoking and lung cancer was among the major findings from the first cancer prevention study, which was done in the 1950s.

"Other CPS studies have shown us that people who eat diets high in vegetables have a lower rate of colon cancer," he said. "People who take a lot of aspirin have a lower rate of even heart disease, so we can look at things beyond cancer."

Nationwide, the goal is to have around 300,000 people take part in CPS 3.

More information is online at cancermw.org.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - MN