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posted: 9/2/2013 5:32 AM

Major cancer study needs thousands of volunteers

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San Francisco Chronicle

The American Cancer Society is seeking to sign up 300,000 people across the country to participate in the third iteration of its long-term Cancer Prevention Study. Two earlier such studies conducted decades ago led to remarkable findings that have had lasting impact on research and medical advances.

The first study, done in the 1950s, helped establish the link between smoking and cancer. The second study, which began in the early 1980s and is ongoing, found a link between obesity and the risk of several cancers.

This third version, which is in its sixth and final year of recruitment, focuses on lifestyle, behavioral, environmental and genetic factors that may either cause or prevent cancer. Volunteers are required to fill out two detailed questionnaires -- some duplication is required for accuracy -- and to be willing to complete follow-up surveys in the years to come.

This year's study also, for the first time, requires participants to donate a blood sample. The sample does not provide immediate information but will be stored and analyzed only if the volunteer develops cancer.

Volunteers must be between 30 and 65 years old and have never have been diagnosed with cancer, with the exception of basal and squamous cell skin cancer.

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