Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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Opinion

August 30, 2013

You can help fight cancer

Thirty-five thousand five hundred.

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.

Countless fundraisers are held throughout the year to help fund research to rid us of this disease forever. And now, in north central Indiana, 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 Cancer Society 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 Cancer Society’s 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.

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.

Study participants must be 30 to 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.

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