Participation needed for research

Mar. 01, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Since 1952, the American Cancer Society has conducted numerous health studies involving different demographic groups in various parts of the country.

Those studies have proved valuable in linking smoking and obesity to cancer and has helped shape health policy in the United States.

These studies have used able and willing volunteers who have been able to allow the American Cancer Society to track and study lifestyle changes and utilize that data to develop sound conclusions regarding cancer. That has led to wide-ranging cancer research and policy which has shaped things like education, information and even federal laws and regulations.

The first Cancer Prevention Study (CPS-1) went from 1959-1972 and found a strong connection between tobacco use and cancer.

The next study (CPS-2) started in 1982 and has been ongoing. Through the study, there have been findings linking obesity to cancer. It included over 1 million subjects in all 50 states.

On Thursday, Debbie Buchanan with the American Cancer Society announced that Rutherford County will be part of the next study called CPS-3.

“We are just in the first stages of the process,” Buchanan said.

The latest study does not have a pre-determined end result but Buchanan said they would like to get 300 people in the county to participate.

According to Buchanan, Rutherford County is one of only two counties in western North Carolina.

The American Cancer Society website said “... as we improve our understanding of what causes cancer, CPS-3 will allow us to explore new and emerging hypotheses related to cancer.”

Under the study, those involved will give blood samples, take a survey and be subject to regular monitoring over a number of years by volunteers with the American Cancer Society. The process appears to be non-invasive but productive to developing new policies regarding cancer research.

We believe this is a groundbreaking initiative and Rutherford County is fortunate to be a part of it.

“It is a really big deal and we are very fortunate to be a part of it,” Buchanan said. “This is a whole different part of helping the American Cancer Society.”

County residents have an opportunity to help set national cancer research policies.

Once registration opens in the county at a later time, we encourage county residents to actively pursue being a part of this latest national study.

Not only can you help with health policy but you can also help develop strategies to remove cancer as a significant national health concern for future generations.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board

 

The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark.