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Willis-Knighton Cancer Center Supports Mammoth Cancer Prevention Study in North Louisiana

5/08/2013

The Willis-Knighton Cancer Center and Willis-Knighton Health System are joining with the American Cancer Society and other local organizations to promote and support a study that has the potential to change the face of cancer. Local residents are being recruited to participate in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) which will give scientists a better understanding of cancer causes and prevention. The Cancer Society seeks local men and women between the age 30 and 65 from various racial/ethnic backgrounds with no personal history of cancer to participate. They hope to enroll at least 300,000 people.

Local promotional partners are Lifeshare Blood Centers, LSU Health Shreveport, Volunteers of America, and Willis-Knighton Health System.

Anyone who wants to participate (and who meets the criteria) can enroll in CPS-3 July 23 through 27 at YMCA of Northwest Louisiana (Broadmoor and Downtown Branches), Stonewall Missionary Baptist Church in Bossier City and Christus Health in Shreveport. Participants can schedule an appointment now by going to www.cps3northla.org.

“By joining this study, people can literally help us save lives, giving future generations more time with families and friends, more memories, more celebrations, and more birthdays,” said Sheena Robertson, local coordinator of CPS-3. “As the official sponsor of birthdays, celebrating our own 100th birthday in 2013, we can think of no more valuable contribution to the cancer fight.”

Signing up requires a one-time in-person visit to read and sign a consent form, complete a survey, have your waist measured, and give a small nonfasting blood sample like those drawn during a routine doctor visit. Participants will also complete a more detailed survey at home and will continue to receive periodic follow-up surveys in the future that researchers will use to look for more clues to cancer’s causes.

“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.”

CPS-3 is the latest addition to the Cancer Society’s ground-breaking cancer prevention studies, which have been instrumental in helping identify major factors that can affect cancer risk. Researchers say CPS-3 holds the best hope of identifying new and emerging cancer risks. But its success depends on members of the community becoming involved. Researchers will use data from CPS-3 to build on evidence from those earlier cancer prevention studies, which began in the 1950s and involved hundreds of thousands of volunteer participants.

Among other findings, these cancer prevention studies have confirmed the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, demonstrated the link between larger waist size and increased death rates from cancer and other causes, and showed the considerable impact of air pollution on heart and lung conditions. Changes in lifestyle over the past several decades as well as a better understanding of cancer make this latest chapter in this lifesaving series of studies a critical part of continuing the progress we’re seeing against the disease.

“Cancer Prevention Study-3 is exciting because it allows people from all walks of life to take an active role in the fight against cancer,” said Robertson. “I encourage everyone in the Shreveport-Bossier area to join with the hundreds of thousands of people across the nation taking part in CPS-3 and fighting against this disease.”

The voluntary, long-term commitment by participants is what will produce benefits for decades to come. “Taking an hour or so every few years to fill out a survey – and potentially save someone from being diagnosed with cancer in the future - is a commitment that thousands of volunteer participants have already made. We're looking for more like-minded individuals in North Louisiana to join this effort that we know will save lives and improve the outlook for future generations,” said Dr. Patel.

For more information or to learn how to become involved with CPS-3, visit cancer.org/cps3 and www.cps3northla.org, email cps3@cancer.org, or call toll-free 1-888-604-5888.

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