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.
The study requires 300,000 participants. About 180,000 had signed up by the end of 2012.
The final round of enrollment in Northwest Florida will be from 7 to 11 a.m. March 14 at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast in Miramar Beach. Additional signups will take place through March 22 at West Florida Hospital, Baptist Hospital, Woodlands Medical Specialist and Gulf Breeze Hospital.
Lori Perkins at the Cancer Society’s Pensacola office said 800 people from Northwest Florida have signed up for Cancer Prevention Study-3 since 2007. The goal for the March enrollment is to sign up at least 500 more volunteers.
Davis is coordinating a kickoff event for the enrollment Jan. 24 in Pensacola, and is looking for people to become “community champions” for the study. Each community champion who attends the event will commit to recruiting at least 10 people to participate in the study.
To become a community champion, contact Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Cancer Prevention Study-3, visit cancer.org/cps3 or email cps3@cancer org.
Contact Daily News Business Editor Dusty Ricketts at 850-315-4448 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @DustyRnwfdn.