Daily News: Disease

Next generation of cancer surveys is under way

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

04-12-13

April 11--The American Cancer Society is gathering participants for the National Cancer Prevention Study 3, the fourth generation of a study that uses long-term surveillance of volunteers to help identify cancer trends.

The first study was called the Hammond_Horn Study and lasted from 1952 to 1955. The first Cancer Prevention study (CPS1) began in the 1950s, and the second study started in 1982.

The ability to compare notes on studies over generations is credited with detecting associations, the Cancer Society says. The studies are credited with showing the link between smoking and lung cancer, the link between larger waist size and increased death rates from cancer, and the impact of air pollution on heart and lung conditions.

The study that started in 1982 continues. "But changes in lifestyle and in the understanding of cancer ... make it important to begin this new study," the Cancer Society said in a statement.

The studies spur research for explanations, treatments and alerts, the Cancer Society says.

To join the study in the St. Louis region, volunteers:

--Must be between 30 and 65 and have never been diagnosed with cancer.

--Complete an online questionnaire about lifestyle, behavior and other health-related factors.

--Meet in person for a half-hour interview and checkup which includes giving a blood sample and waistline measurements.

The study needs 300,000 people from across the United States and Puerto Rico. Researchers are seeking a diversity of racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds.

Over the years, the Cancer Society will send individuals follow-up surveys as well as an annual newsletter with updates and results. That information will be compared with the information from millions of predecessor volunteers, the Cancer Society says.

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