The American Cancer Society is getting ready to wrap the first part of a two-decade study, and if you’re between 30 and 65 years old, it needs your help.
The society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3, set to conclude sometime in the 2030s, is to look for cancer trends in relation to habits, genetics, lifestyles and parts of the country.
Those who want to be part of a study must register no later than Nov. 6. They must agree to keep the society up to date on their health status and life changes. The information will be used to develop a comprehensive picture of what kinds of conditions go hand-in-hand with cancer diagnoses.
Erin Moskel, a regional agent coordinating the society’s Northeastern Pennsylvania enrollment, also is a volunteer participant for the study that hopes to gain 200 volunteers from the region and 500,000 around the country and in Puerto Rico.
She explained what she expects as a participant.
“Every four to five years, I’m going to get a survey,” Moskel said.
Each time she will explain factoids about herself, things like: she works out weekly, hasn’t started smoking, wears sunscreen and the kinds of food she eats.
“If somewhere down the road I have a (cancer) diagnoses, they’re going to pull my data,” Moskel said.
Interested volunteers must never have been diagnosed with cancer before registering.
There will be two enrollment dates, one Nov. 2 and a second Nov. 6., at Keystone College in La Plume. Those who register will fill out an entry survey and give a blood sample. Moskel urged participants to sign up early on the cancer society’s survey website, www.keystonecps3.org, to help organizers prepare for enrollment days.
The enrollment process will take between 30 to 45 minutes, Moskel said. After the enrollment period closes on Nov. 6, no one will be able to register.
Researchers plan to release data they uncover as the study continues, with a conclusive report following when it ends, Moskel said.
While data around the country is in a collection phase, Moskel said bursts of knowledge from time to time could provide information for people in certain geographic regions, practicing habits not known to be connected to cancer before, or of a family line that has frequent cancer cases.
“As we find out new information in relation to cancer, the health care community overall is going to be looking more closely (at this research),” Moskel said.