County to join in cancer research

Published 9:24 pm Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pike County has been invited to participate in a research project involved with the tracking of cancer.

The Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) project is a nationwide study. The purpose of CPS-3 is to improve the understanding of the lifestyle, behavioral, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer. Three Alabama Relay for Life events, Pike County, Lee County and Huntsville, have been chosen to participate.

“The Pike County Relay for Life event was selected because of its history of success,” said Laura Clark, who is coordinating the effort. “This is a real honor for Pike County, and we expect great participation from the community.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Clark said that because the CPS-II study is on an aging population, a new study population must be recruited for the next generation of research at the American Cancer Society. Also, the environmental and individuals’ lifestyles change over time. New follow-up studies like CPS-3 are needed to understand these changes. The younger study population will have environmental and lifestyle exposures that may be meaningfully different from the previous populations and will help further advance the understanding of the factors that cause or prevent cancer.

“Participants in the CPS-3 research program must be between the ages of 30 and 65 and never have been diagnosed with cancer,” Clark said. “That does not include skin cancers other than melanoma. For the Pike County area, we need a minimum of 150 participants. Signup day for Pike County residents will be Relay day, May 7 at the culminating 2010 Relay for Life event.”

At that time, the participants will be asked to fill out a survey that includes a personal medical history, a family history and certain environmental factors. Participants will also be weighed and measured and a blood sample will be taken.

“A more detailed survey will be required at a later date but that can be done by mail or on line,” Clark said. “There will be follow ups in two to five years. However, the participants will not get the results of the blood work or another information collected for the study. The information is for the research studies only.”

Clark said in later years, if a participant develops cancer, his or her information will be compared with other participants who have also developed cancer to determine if there are similar risks factors such as smoking or obesity.

Those who are interested in participating in the study are asked to e-mail Clark so that she will be able to gauge the interest prior to May 7.

Clark’s e-mail address is