The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

December 12, 2012

Cancer prevention study

The Daily Southerner
MIRANDA BAINES

TARBORO — A world without cancer is what the American Cancer Society (ACS) envisions.

For 17 years, Edgecombe County has rallied behind that cause with Relay for Life, ACS’ largest fundraiser. Now, county residents have another opportunity to help ACS accomplish its goal of finding a cure for cancer, by participating in the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3).

“This study is looking at three things. It’s looking at lifestyle, environment and genetics,” said Natalie Edwards, mission delivery director for the South Atlantic Division of ACS. “What we are hoping for is to unlock some of the causes [of cancer.]”

By unlocking the causes of cancer, the ACS hopes to use the data to create programs to “plan for a healthier community,” Edwards said.

Enrollment for the study will take place from 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the Edgecombe County administrative building auditorium at 201 St. Andrew St. in Tarboro. At the enrollment event, participants will be asked to read and sign an informed consent form, complete a brief written survey, provide a waist measurement, and give a small blood sample.

ACS’ participation goal in Edgecombe County is 100 people, said Edwards.

The ACS is recruiting a diverse group of at least 300,000 men and women across the United States and Puerto Rico for the study. Previous cancer studies have identified the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, and the correlation between larger waist size and increased death rates for cancer.

“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.”

The ACS estimated that the new number of cancer cases in North Carolina in 2012 would be 51,860. In Edgecombe County, cancer was the second leading cause of death of residents in the 2011 State of the County Health Report.

To be eligible to participate in CPS-3, you must never have had a cancer diagnosis, be between the ages of 30 and 65, and be willing to make a long-term commitment (between 20 and 30 years). After enrolling in the study, participants will complete an initial detailed survey about lifestyle, behavior and other health-related factors and shorter follow-up surveys periodically.

For more information about CPS-3, visit www.cps3northeastnc.org or by call toll free at 1-888-60-5888.