05/16/13 — Cancer Society prepares for massive study in city

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Cancer Society prepares for massive study in city

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on May 16, 2013 1:46 PM

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The word "Hope" glowed in white luminarias at Friday's Relay for Life event. Researchers hope that information collected from a cancer study that begins this week will yield information that will bring them one step closer to a cure.

First Pentecostal Holiness Church will host the American Cancer Society's third cancer prevention study on Friday.

The interviews with local volunteers are aimed at identifying factors in common across various racial and ethnic backgrounds of people who have not had cancer in an attempt to identify a link to the disease.

The study hopes to collect data nationwide from 300,000 adults between the ages of 30 and 65 about lifestyle habits and follow them throughout their lives to better understand cancer.

The Wayne County leg of the study, referred to as CPS-3, will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall of the church.

Appointments can be made online through the ACS website at www.cancer.org or walk-ins will be welcome too.

Participants will fill out a more exhaustive survey before their appointment and will fill out another survey and give blood at their appointment Friday.

Luis Blanco, an office administrator with the church, is one of the more than 200 people signed up to participate in the survey.

Blanco is participating because of the impact on his life cancer has had even though he has never been diagnosed himself.

He has lost a father-in-law and a grandmother to lung cancer and his father and sister are both survivors of cancer, prostate cancer and ovarian cancer, respectively.

"About six years ago my wife and I decided to get involved to make sure no one ever had to hear that word again," Blanco said.

First Pentecostal got involved with ACS through its support for Relay for Life. The church allows the organization to utilize its facilities for events like the annual Survivor's Banquet.

"We have had a lot of folks in our own congregation that have been touched by this ugly disease," Blanco said.

The first CPS took place from 1959 to 1972.

The second round began in 1982 and is still ongoing.

Past surveys have yielded more than 300 articles published on risk factors and have allowed ACS epidemiologists to recognize connections between obesity, diet, physical activity, hormone use, air pollution and various other exposures to cancer and other diseases.

The 1982 study included 1.2 million subjects across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico and is following participants to track cause of death and determine risk factors based on the subject's lifestyle.