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American Cancer Society study 'champions' sought in Sewickley Valley

| Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 7:21 p.m.

The American Cancer Society is seeking individuals in the Sewickley Valley for its Cancer Prevention Study 3 (CPS-3).

The nonprofit organization will host an event at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, at the Sewickley Valley YMCA to kick off its community-based CPS-3 initiative.

CPS-3 is a nationwide study to help researchers better understand factors that cause or prevent cancer, American Cancer Society Health Initiatives representative Sharon Stalter said. She is based at the organization's Robinson Township office.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Americans to participate in lifesaving cancer research,” she said.

The American Cancer Society goal is to recruit 100 CPS-3 “champions” who will help the organization recruit and enroll 1,000 community participants for the CPS-3 study, Stalter said.

“In order to reach these targets, we need passionate people who are committed to fighting cancer and finding a cure for this disease,” Stalter said.

While the American Cancer Society has been conducting these types of studies for decades, the organization's research department only can study new and emerging cancer risks if members of the community are willing to become involved, she said.

The Sewickley CPS-3 event will be held May 22 and is one of several other events to be held throughout the region over the next several months.

Participants of the study must be between the ages of 30 and 65 and never have been diagnosed with cancer.

The study is expected to enroll a diverse population of 300,000 people across the United States.

To enroll, individuals provide a waist measurement, give a small blood sample and complete a comprehensive survey online or at an enrollment site.

Over the course of the study, participants will be asked to fill out follow-up surveys every few years.

“Many individuals diagnosed with cancer struggle to answer the question, ‘What caused my cancer?' In many cases, we don't know the answer,” Stalter said. “CPS-3 will help us better understand what factors cause cancer, and once we know that, we can be better equipped to prevent it.”

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