Health & Science
7:00 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Wanted: 5,000 Georgians for Long-Term Cancer Study

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, there’s someone who wants a long-term commitment from you: at least 20 years. The American Cancer Society is looking for volunteers to help with long-term cancer research.

Volunteers for this long-term study will be asked to give a blood sample.
Volunteers for this long-term study will be asked to give a blood sample.

This is the third long-term nationwide study the American Cancer Society has done. The first started in the 1950s. The second began in the '80s and is still going on.

American Cancer Society epidemiologist Alpa Patel says those studies led to more than 500 significant discoveries. “Our first cancer prevention study actually unlocked the link between smoking and lung cancer,” said Dr. Patel. “And so that’s the type of finding that we hope to continue to uncover.”

Researchers want to dig deeper this time. In addition to a baseline health and family history questionnaire, researchers will ask for a blood sample and will measure your waist circumference. And then, for the next 20 or 30 years, you’ll get a health survey to complete a few times a year.

Dr. Patel points to an incentive for participants. “It’s a tangible way in which anyone who’s looked for a way to help find that next wave of answers about what causes cancer to take. It’s one generation paying it forward to the next.”

Researchers hope to get 300,000 participants nationwide, 5,000 in Georgia. Information on whether you qualify and how to sign up to participate is at cps3atlanta.org.