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American Cancer Society study deadline nearing

NATCHEZ — Organizers of an American Cancer Society study are worried that Natchez may lose its host site status.

Only 38 people are signed up for the Cancer Prevention Study Three.

Event organizer Charlene Rushing said she is looking for at least 100 people to sign up by Aug. 5 and 250 total Natchez participants.

“I’m a little worried about the number of people signed up,” she said. “I think people just tend to procrastinate, but Aug. 21 is closer than you think.”

The Cancer Prevention Study, nicknamed CPS-3, offers those never diagnosed with cancer a chance to fight back against the deadly disease. It’s the third study since the 1950s. Previous studies detailed tobacco’s direct link to cancer and determined how factors such as obesity, family history and diabetes affect cancer risk.

Rushing said she is disappointed by the current number of registered participants because of Relay for Life’s popularity in the Miss-Lou.

“We have over 50 Relay teams each year, and there are four to five on each team,” Rushing said. “I would think that more people would be interested in participating. It is such a minor commitment.”

Participants will fill out a series of questionnaires to complete the study. After 30 years, the data from the surveys will be used to gather information about cancer’s causes.

Requirements to participate include:

• Being between 30 and 65 years old.

• Never being diagnosed with cancer.

• Being willing to make a long-term commitment to the study.

To sign up, participants must visit cps3southwestms.org and pick a time slot.

After entering some basic information, Rushing said participants would be required to fill out an initial online survey.

“The survey takes about 30 minutes to complete,” she said. “You don’t have to do it all in one sitting though. You can fill out the survey a little bit at a time”

On Aug. 21 from 1 to 5 p.m., the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel will host initial consultations for the study. On Aug. 22 from 3 to 7 p.m., St. Mary Basilica will also host enrollment appointments.

At the initial appointments, Rushing said participants would sign a consent form, provide physical measurements and give a small blood sample.

Rushing said walk-in appointments are also welcomed, but may take longer than a pre-scheduled appointment.

“Either way, you’ll have to fill out the initial survey,” she said. “You can either do it a little at a time or do it all at once at the appointment.”

After the initial appointment, participants will receive a questionnaire approximately every two years, she said.