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Help us change the face of cancer

CPS-3. To most of you, that doesn’t mean anything. Some of you may even be thinking about CP3O from Star Wars, but that puts you way out in left field!

You may have read in Sunday’s paper about a cancer study. CPS3, or Cancer Prevention Study 3, is coming to Natchez. The first study, or CPS1, was started in the 1950s, and 60 years later, we are at No. 3. If you’ve ever wondered how you can change the world, here is your chance. If you want to help create a cancer-free world, you’re the one we’re looking for. You can volunteer for the Study and help the American Cancer Society better understand how to prevent cancer and save more lives. Lifestyle, genetics and knowing how the environment affects cancer will help researchers understand how we can better prevent the disease.

To be eligible for this study, you must:

-Be willing to make a long-term commitment to the study, which involves completing periodic follow-up surveys at home

-Be between 30 and 65 years old

-Have never been diagnosed with cancer (excluding basal or squamous cell skin cancer)

-The enrollment process involves two steps—one in person and one at home. As part of the in-person enrollment, you will be asked to:

-Read and sign an informed consent form

-Complete a brief written survey

-Provide some physical measurements

-Give a small blood sample, which will be drawn by a trained, certified phlebotomist

At home, you will complete a more comprehensive baseline survey that asks for information on lifestyle, behavioral and other factors related to your health.

Upon completion of these steps, you will receive follow-up surveys by mail every few years to update your information, along with annual newsletters to tell you about ongoing research in the Cancer Prevention Studies.

Those of you who have contributed and participated in our area’s Relay for Life for the past 17 years will be able to SEE your donations at work. Key findings from past studies include:

-Determining the substantial effect of cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke on lung cancer and premature death, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to put warning labels on cigarettes. As a result, smoking rates in men have dropped from 50% in the 1950s to about 23% today.

-The link between larger waist size and increased death rates from cancer and other causes, even among people considered at normal weight.

-The first to show the significant impact of obesity on the risk of dying from cancer.

-The benefit of regular physical activity and harmful effects of too much time spent sitting in relation to cancer, cardiovascular disease and mortality.

-The considerable impact of air pollution on heart and lung conditions, which motivated the Environmental Protection Agency to propose more stringent limits on air pollution.

As one study participant put it, “This is an opportunity to change the face of cancer…so we don’t have to tell our children they should be afraid of a word called ‘cancer.’”

If you want to see an end to cancer possibly in your lifetime, please join us at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Natchez Grand Hotel for the CPS-3 kickoff. You will learn more about the study, what YOU can do to help and set up your enrollment appointment.

For more information, visit the website at cancer.org/cps3, e-mail the American Cancer Society at cps3@cancer.org, or call toll-free at 1-888-604-5888.

Come join the study, and let YOUR Relay dollars work for YOU.


Janis Holder is the Relay for Life of the Miss-Lou Accounting Chair and CPS-3 Champion.