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updated: 9/6/2012 4:41 PM

Volunteers sought for national cancer prevention study

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Amy Jo Steinbruecker

What if you could prevent even one family member from hearing the words, "You have cancer?" The American Cancer Society is seeking cancer fighters in the Northwest Suburbs who are interested in helping to spread the word about the importance of participating in Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3), a historic nationwide study to help researchers better understand the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer.

A kick-off event will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27 at the American Cancer Society Northwest Regional Office, 1114 N. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights. CPS-3 champions will receive all the information they need to help educate and recruit community members to enroll in CPS-3 this November.

"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Americans to participate in lifesaving cancer research," said Elizabeth Jablonski Ph.D., director, Research Health Initiatives and Advocacy at the Illinois Division of the American Cancer Society. "We are excited to offer this opportunity for area residents to make an appointment and enroll in the study at their convenience November 13-17. Our goal is to recruit 70 or more CPS-3 champions at each location and enroll a total of at least 500 study participants during this time. In order to reach these targets, we need passionate people who are committed to fighting cancer. While the Society has been conducting these types of studies for decades, their world-class research department can only study new and emerging cancer risks if members of the community are willing to become involved."

Anyone who is interested in becoming a champion is welcome to do so -- there is no specific age or other eligibility requirements. There are, however, eligibility considerations for those who wish to enroll in the study. Men and women who are willing to commit to the study must be between the ages of 30 and 65 and never have been diagnosed with cancer. The study will enroll a diverse population of 300,000 people across the United States. To enroll, individuals provide a waist measurement, give a small blood sample and complete a comprehensive survey online or at the enrollment site. Over the course of the study, participants will be asked to fill out follow-up surveys every few years.

"Many individuals diagnosed with cancer struggle to answer the question, 'What caused my cancer?' In many cases, we don't know the answer," said Jablonski. "CPS-3 will help us better understand what factors cause cancer, and once we know that, we can be better equipped to prevent cancer."

To enroll in CPS-3 and complete the online survey, visit Participants are encouraged to enroll early.

Whether you are a cancer survivor, caregiver or are interested in honoring a friend or loved one who has battled cancer, you are invited to serve as a CPS-3 champion. To RSVP for the kick off, please call 847-368-1166, press 3. For more information about CPS-3 visit or call toll-free 1-888-604-5888.