Cancer study seeks southwestern Pennsylvania residents

PITTSBURGH – The American Cancer Society seeks southwestern Pennsylvania residents to participate in a Cancer Prevention Study-3.

Those conducting the long-term study are looking for volunteers, including men and women between 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer. As part of the study, participants will complete a brief survey, have their waist circumference measured and give a small blood sample. The in-person enrollment process takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Following the enrollment, participants will complete a comprehensive survey packet on lifestyle and behavioral health factors. The society will periodically follow-up with surveys and newsletters.

The study will help researchers better understand the lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer.

“Many individuals diagnosed with cancer struggle to answer the question, ‘What caused my cancer?’ In many cases, we don’t know the answer,” said Dr. Alpa V. Patel, principal investigator. “CPS-3 will help us better understand what factors cause cancer, and once we know that, we can be better equipped to prevent cancer. Our previous cancer prevention studies have been instrumental in helping us identify some of the major factors that can affect cancer risk. CPS-3 holds the best hope of identifying new and emerging cancer risks, and we can only do this if members of the community are willing to become involved.”

Researchers will use the data to build on evidence from a series of studies that began in the 1950s and have involved millions of volunteer participants. The Hammond-Horn Study and previous Cancer Prevention Studies have played a major role in understanding cancer prevention and risk, and have contributed significantly to the scientific basis and development of public health guidelines and recommendations. Those studies confirmed the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, demonstrated the link between larger waist size and increased death rates from cancer and other causes, and showed the considerable impact of air pollution on heart and lung conditions. The current study, CPS-II, began in 1982 and is still ongoing. But changes in lifestyle and in the understanding of cancer in the more than two decades since its launch make it important to begin a new study.

Those who are survivors, caregivers or have lost someone to cancer are needed to serve as “community champions.” Enrollment sessions last an hour and give participants educational information about the study to recruit participants.

“Taking an hour or so every few years to fill out a survey – and potentially save someone from being diagnosed with cancer in the future – is a commitment that thousands of volunteer participants have already made,” said Patel. “We’re looking for more like-minded individuals in western Pennsylvania to join this effort that we know will save lives and improve the outlook for future generations.”

Community champion kickoff events are as follows:

5:30 p.m. Thursday at Monongahela Valley Hospital located at 1163 Country Club Road, Monongahela, Pa.; register today;

5:30 p.m. March 19 at Cumberland Woods Village located at 700 Cumberland Woods Drive, Allison Park, Pa.; register by Friday; and

5:30 p.m. April 3, at Sewickley Valley Young Men’s Christian Association located at 625 Blackburn Road, Sewickley, Pa.; register by March 27.

Register by contacting Amy Gilbert at or (412) 919-1125.

The study will enroll up to half a million people across the United States and Puerto Rico.

For information, visit or call (888) 227-5445.