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Sunday 23rd October 2016

US call for new cancer study

30th April 2007

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has called for 500,000 people to take part in a long-term study of lifestyle and cancer called the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) for short.

cervical cancer

In a news story on its website, the ACS said it was targetting people attending Relay For Life sporting activities across the country, asking them to commit to filling in questionnaires about their lifestyle over the course of 20 years.

"The ACS researchers will follow the participants to see which ones develop cancer, in hopes of learning how a person's lifestyle, environment, and genetic makeup influence who gets the disease," the report said.

Researchers say that while scientific research has made great strides towards an understanding of the biology and genetics of cancer, some of the most valuable gathered on this type of disease to date comes from individual life histories.

The study will be led by Eugenia Calle, managing director of analytic epidemiology at ACS.

According to Calle, the study involves hundreds of thousands of people with diverse backgrounds, followed for many years, with collection of biological specimens and assessments of dietary, lifestyle and environmental exposures. It also requires active follow-up to discover if and when study participants develop cancer.

Calle noted that some countries in Europe and Asia had used their national healthcare systems to track cancer across millions in their populations.

The purpose of CPS-3, the ACS website said, is to "better understand the lifestyle, behavioral, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer and to ultimately eliminate cancer as a major health problem for this and future generations."

It said the population recruited for its last study, CPS-II, was now getting into old age, and a fresh study was needed to track development of the disease and that major changes in recent years to people's environment and lifestyle could be 'significant'.

Anyone between the ages of 30 and 65 who has never had cancer (other than basal or squamous cell skin cancer) can sign up for the CPS-3.

Participants are asked to answer a brief questionnaire, get their waist measured and give a blood sample, and commit to responding to the study over a long period of time.

Previous ACS studies (some dating back to the 1950s) have helped identify important cancer risk factors like tobacco use, obesity, air pollution, and others. One of these studies provided the first strong evidence that smoking can cause lung cancer; another showed that being obese raises the risk of developing several types of cancer.

"We are once again looking to the dedication, compassion and generosity of Americans to come through and help us provide answers that we know will save lives and improve the outlook for future generations," Calle was quoted as saying.

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