Northwest Florida participants needed for 20-year cancer study

FILE PHOTO / Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:31 AM.

Northwest Florida residents have one last opportunity to participate in a historic and potentially life-saving study.

The American Cancer Society is seeking volunteers for the 20-year Cancer Prevention Study-3. The study hopes to reduce cancer cases in the future by discovering what factors contribute to the development of the disease.

“(The scientists try) to discover cures, combinations, any common denominators, any factors that people might share that would develop cancer down the road,” said Cindy Davis, a volunteer for the American Cancer Society. “It’s really very, very vital to the research that’s going to be done and is being done on this disease.

“It’s a vital study,” Davis added. “When you think about it, it’s not only saving ourselves, but up the road our children, their children.”

The original Cancer Prevention Study conducted in the 1950s was the first one to link lung cancer to cigarettes. Cancer Prevention Study-2 started in 1982 and is ongoing.

Cancer Prevention Study-3 is open to anyone age 30 to 65 who has never been diagnosed with cancer. Everyone who is accepted in the study will donate blood at an upcoming signup and fill out a detailed survey on their lifestyle and their family medical history. For the next 20 years, each participant will update their surveys once every two to three years.

If a participant is diagnosed with cancer later, his or her blood sample will be pulled to be studied and compared to other people diagnosed to look for clues of what might have caused the disease.

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