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McDuffie selected to participate in national cancer study

Next May, McDuffie County will have the opportunity to support cancer research not only through Relay For Life fundraising, but also by participating in a historic research study.

At last Thursday's Rotary Club meeting, Danielle Caldwell, the American Cancer Society community manager, informed local Rotarians that McDuffie County has been selected as a Cancer Prevention Study-3 enrollment site.

"They look at relays that are successful, that you can sort of guarantee a certain number of participants and community members who will come out, and that have a very strong engaged community, and that's why McDuffie was selected," Ms. Caldwell said.

The goal of CPS-3 is to enroll 500,000 adults from various ethnic backgrounds across the United States who are between the ages of 30 and 65 and who have no personal history of cancer. The American Cancer Society will have tents set up at select Relays For Life to enroll participants, Ms. Caldwell said.

In the 1950s, the cancer society first began studies in which large groups of individuals were registered, questioned and assessed over time, according to the ACS website. This is the fourth major study. The first one was called the Hammond-Horn Study. Subsequent studies were called Cancer Prevention Studies. CPS-1 was a 13-year study addressing a wide range of potential exposures affecting cancer risks. There are two CPS-2s, and both are ongoing. CPS-2 includes 1.2 million adults who have been followed for over 20 years to determine causes of death. CPS-2 Nutrition Cohort involves 185,000 of the previous CPS-2 participants and keeps track of their diet and its effect on cancer risks.

Because the CPS-2 population is aging, a new study group must be established for the next generation. Ms. Caldwell said this study is different from the others. CPS-3 will explore environmental and lifestyle exposures and genetic and behavioral factors that may be meaningfully different from previous populations.

Ms. Caldwell said a local chair person for the study will be appointed and a committee will be established. On the day of the relay, a tent will be set up for four hours during the relay in which participants may register, sign a consent form, complete a brief study questionnaire, provide a waist measurement and a small blood sample. A few months later, participants will receive a full-length questionnaire in the mail. Ms. Caldwell said a questionnaire will have to be completed every two years for the next 20 years or longer.

"(The questionnaires) will be kept confidential and used just for medical purposes. And the ACS will stay in touch with the participants through a variety of mechanisms, like newsletters and email," Ms. Caldwell said. "So we will identify a chair hopefully in the next three months... there will be many steps we have to take prior to the relay."

Web posted on Thursday, July 19, 2007

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