August 29, 2013

OUR VIEW: Cancer research that will save lives


---- — 35,500.

That’s the estimated number of new cancer cases for 2013, according to a report by the American Cancer Society. And there’s plenty of 2013 left to go.

With numbers like that, few people have the luxury of saying they haven’t been affected by cancer. Whether they’ve been touched personally or watched the suffering of a loved one, few would describe the disease as anything less than a scourge.

Countless fundraisers are held throughout the year to help fund research to rid us of this disease forever. And now, here in Cass County, we have a chance to be a part of that research.

And this isn’t just any research. This is game-changing, life-saving research. This is Cancer Prevention Study-3.

Since the ACS began conducting long-term prospective studies in the 1950s, this marks only the third Cancer Prevention Study it’s conducted.

Why? Because these studies are massive undertakings.

As for CPS-3, participants will be studied for the next 20 to 30 years. In order to get real, meaningful results, that’s the type of commitment that must be made by researchers and participants alike.

And the commitments net real results. Previous studies linked cigarette smoking to lung cancer.

Want more evidence? The following have all been learned because of the ACS’ long-term research initiatives:

• The significant impact of being overweight or obese on risk of cancer occurrence and death

• The impact of hormones, physical activity, diet, various medications and vitamins, and various other factors in relation to cancer risk

• The impact of air pollution on cardiopulmonary conditions motivating the Environmental Protection Agency to propose more stringent limits on particulate air pollution

• The link between aspirin use and reduced risk of colon cancer

• The link between postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy and various gynecologic cancers (such as breast and ovarian cancer)

• The link of diabetes with cancers of the pancreas and colon

• The link between physical activity and lower risk of various cancers (including breast, colon and aggressive prostate cancer)

As for CPS-3, researchers hope to gain a better understanding of the lifestyle, behavioral, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer.

And, ultimately, to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.

And to get there, volunteers are out actively recruiting study participants. They’re looking for people between 30 and 65 years old who have never been diagnosed with cancer (not including basal or squamous cell skin cancer). If you fall into those categories and are willing to make a long-term commitment to the study, which involves completing periodic follow-up surveys, we encourage you to get involved.

THE ISSUE Area residents sought for American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study-3. OUR VIEW This isn't just any research. This is game-changing, life-saving research.