Cancer is the word people don’t want to hear when they go to the doctor, and many don’t want to think about as it relates to themselves, but the American Cancer Society is looking for people who don’t have cancer for a study to gauge why some people get cancer and others don’t.
Enrollment in the Cancer Prevention Study-3 is being held Oct. 15 at Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital in Elkin and Oct. 17 and 19 at ProHealth Center in Mount Airy.
“I’m in the study,” said Allison Reeves, community manager for Yadkin and Rowan counties for the American Cancer Society. “I’m answering questions about my medications, my lifestyle, back to my childhood.
“They are trying to find out if there is a set of twins, why one gets cancer and the other doesn’t. If there is a big family and everyone gets cancer but one person, why did that person not get cancer,” Reeves said of the idea behind the study. “We’re trying to find out why.”
This will be the first study to include a blood draw and waist circumference taken at enrollment, but that is the only time a person participating has to go to a location as part of the study, the rest of the study is answering surveys every two to three years and mailing them back.
“That blood is not screened. It is frozen, and the only time it is used is if you’re diagnosed with cancer,” Reeves said. “If you are diagnosed, it’s pulled and they’ll start comparing it to others who have been diagnosed for common links.”
Those interested can enroll in the study at either Surry site no matter where they live.
“We have to have 250 enroll between the two sites. We have four phlebotomists, two people checking participants in and two measuring waists, so it’s a fairly quick process. It is private, and we have to abide by HIPPA (patient privacy) guidelines, so information is not shared with anyone,” Reeves said.
For Reeves, the research into why some people get cancer and others don’t is personal since she’s had a number of family members diagnosed with cancer. “I didn’t do this for me, but it makes me feel good. It will impact my grandkids and definitely my great-grandkids.
“If you want to do something that would impact future generations, this is a perfect chance,” she said.
While Hugh Chatham and Pro Health are not doing the study, they have provided their locations for the enrollment. “It is very gracious of them,” Reeves said.
When the enrollment is complete, the American Cancer Society nationwide will have 300,000 participating in the study.
“It’s so important that we meet our goal,” Reeves said. “For Surry, we have 77 appointments scheduled, and we need 250.”
The study is open to anyone ages 30 to 65 who has never been diagnosed with cancer, not including basal or squamous cell skin cancer, and is willing to complete periodic short form follow-up surveys at home for the next 20 to 30 years.
According to information on the enrollment process, those who opt to participate will first go online and complete the first and most comprehensive survey asking questions regarding medications, family history of cancer, lifestyle and other behaviors. It will take about 45 to 60 minutes to complete.
Then at the appointment, participants will sign an informed consent form, complete a brief survey, and provide the waist circumference measurement and a small blood sample. This appointment will last about 20 to 30 minutes.
The appointments at Hugh Chatham will be scheduled Oct. 15 from 3 to 7 p.m., and the appointments at Pro Health will be Oct. 17 from 4 to 7 p.m. and Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to noon.
For more information on the Elkin enrollment, contact Reeves at 336-428-1410 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Mount Airy enrollment, contact Angie Wagoner at 276-728-8030 or email@example.com.
To enroll in the study, visit www.cps3Surry.org or call 888-604-5888.
Reach Wendy Byerly Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 835-1513 ext. 12.