Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

American Cancer Society holding third Cancer Prevention Study

Maybe you think you're doing all you can to prevent cancer.

You don't touch tobacco. You never drink to excess. You love fruits, vegetables, high-fiber grains and legumes. You avoid foods with unpronounceable ingredients.

You watch your weight, you exercise every day, know your family health history and get recommended screenings.

But have you offered up your healthy self to science?

This is not about donating your body to medical research after your death, though that's a great idea too. Today's topic is much lower-impact: participating in the American Cancer Society's third Cancer Prevention Study, known as CPS-3.

Dating back to the 1950s, the cancer society has sponsored data collection and analysis that have been invaluable to unlocking the secrets of cancer. The first and perhaps most famous contribution of CPS was in detailing tobacco's role in cancer.

But it also has helped scientists see how factors such as obesity and air pollution, diabetes and family history affect cancer risk. It has shed light on the potential of aspirin to inhibit colorectal cancer, and on how hormone replacement therapy may relate to cancers of the colon, breast, and ovary.

Now the cancer society is wrapping up volunteer recruitment for CPS-3, its biggest examination yet of the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that may prevent or cause cancer. Qualifications are simple: Just be a man or woman, ages 30 to 65, who has never been diagnosed with cancer (except for basal or squamous cell skin cancer).

Participation is pretty simple too: You fill out a questionnaire that asks about health and lifestyle — nothing too invasive; it will take about 20 minutes to complete. You'll give a small blood sample (about 7 teaspoons). Your height, weight, waist circumference and blood pressure also will be taken. But please — don't stay away if you're self-conscious about your weight. Nobody will scold you. Scientists need all kinds of people to participate if they're going to get meaningful results.

Researchers will follow up in the coming years, asking questions you can answer from your home. Be sure you're willing to commit — you're just wasting precious time and resources if you sign up and then drop out.

St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa is holding an enrollment event May 2. St. Joseph's is part of the BayCare system, whose employees (many of whom themselves are participating) have been competing to sign up recruits, explained Michael Hance, interim director of St. Joseph's Cancer Institute.

"People generally look at these (studies) and think they're important, but they might not realize, 'Hey, my voice can count,' or 'I can be useful,' '' he told me.

Generally, participation in scientific research has been declining in recent years. Some people worry about privacy (though projects like CPS-3 carefully guard identity); others are suspicious of surveys of any kind or think they don't have time.

People who have a disease understandably want to know how they got it, and so tend to be more willing to sign up for a study. But healthy people often are less eager, or have other priorities.

"I should have enrolled last year,'' admitted Hance, who also is director of imaging at the hospital. "You just get busy and forget about it. But here's a great program that can help you personally, and help your children and grandchildren moving forward.''

And this year?

"I will be going, yes ma'am,'' he said. "It's on my calendar.''

Participants are needed for many kinds of clinical trials. You can find studies through research institutions, advocacy organizations and government agencies like the National Institutes of Health, which has a website full of human clinical studies being performed around the world:

Participation is a great way to show support or pay tribute to a loved one. But really, you can't know who you might help by getting involved. That may be the most exciting part of all.

Sign up for the Cancer Prevention Study

Registration events

St. Joseph's Hospital: May 2

Moffitt Cancer Center at International Plaza: April 25

Moffitt Cancer Center in north Tampa: April 25 and 26

Hillsborough County Public Schools: April 30 and May 2

(Pinellas sites have already completed registration.)

More information:

American Cancer Society holding third Cancer Prevention Study

03/08/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 7, 2013 2:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pitching on no rest backfires for Erasmo Ramirez, Rays

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — After battling through a 61/2-hour affair Sunday in Minnesota that was the second-longest game in franchise history, Rays officials were quick to decide that even though Erasmo Ramirez had just worked the 15th and final inning, they would stick with him to start Monday's game in Texas.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers, comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  2. Britain investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber


    LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating its response to warnings from the public about the threat posed by Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a crowded Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last week.

    People gather Monday at St. Ann’s Square in Manchester, England, to view tributes to victims of the suicide bombing that killed 22 on May 22 as a concert by Ariana Grande was concluding.
  3. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant


    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and other similar events, saying they are inappropriate and could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]
  4. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  5. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)