Long-term volunteers needed for study

Posted: September 25, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — What are you doing for the next 20 years? You might consider helping researchers determine what lifestyle factors prevent cancer.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is seeking local participants in a nationwide long-term study of 300,000 volunteers to research what causes cancer and how to prevent it.

“We are really excited to bring research to the [Shenandoah] Valley,” said Tim Grove, community manager with the local ACS office. “This is an important study.”

The ACS is a calling it “a once-in-a-generation historic research study.”

The local kickoff begins with registration at 6 p.m. Thursday followed by an explanation of the study from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 7882 Main St., Middletown.

Women and men between the ages of 30 and 65 years old who have never had cancer (other than basal or squamous cell skin cancer) can participate in the Cancer Prevention Study-3.

Cancer survivors — who may be able to help recruit volunteers — are welcome to attend the meeting, Grove said.

Organizers are hoping to sign up 500 volunteers from the area to join the 262,000 people who have already signed up in other parts of the country, he said.

This is the third time the ACS has recruited volunteers for a major study. The first study years ago found a link between smoking and lung cancer, Grove said.

The second study determined that obesity was a factor in developing some cancers and also of heart disease.

This third study seeks to better understand the lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer.

Participants will be asked to fill out a 45-minute survey every two years for at least 20 years.

Study participants will also need to have their waist measured and give a small blood sample.

The blood sample measures hormones, nutrients, vitamins, chemicals, metals and genetic factors that may be related to the risk of developing cancer.

The blood samples and the waist measurements will be taken Nov. 12 at Shenandoah University and Nov. 13 at Winchester Medical Center.

There is no cost to participate, but there is no compensation either.

It is estimated that 1,660,290 new cancer cases will be diagnosed and 580,350 Americans are projected to die of cancer in 2013, according to the ACS.

To RSVP for the kickoff or for more information, email marie.cheshire@cancer.org or call 540-667-6675.

— Contact Robyn Fontes Taylor at rtaylor@winchesterstar.com