guest commentary by Dr. Larry Pearce, Mercy Fort Smith
The Cancer Prevention Study 3 (CPS-3) is conducted by the American Cancer Society through Mercy Fort Smith. Link here for the March 2012 news story about the study.
What if we could personally participate in research that might help determine factors that cause or prevent cancer?
What if our involvement, and that research, ultimately leads to the elimination of cancer as a major health problem for this and future generations?
What if we could make it so just one family never has to hear the words, “You have cancer.”?
During my career in obstetrics and gynecology, I have been able to take care of patients using some wonderful cancer-fighting tools. Pap smears helped me find and stop precancerous conditions before they became cancer and found early cancers that were easily treated. Mammograms helped find breast cancers that could be treated and often cured. Now we have vaccines for young women that prevent the development of cervical cancer — another great tool to fight cancer.
But we still don’t know why a lot of women develop ovarian cancer. We still don’t know why a lot of other people develop the cancers they do. The cause for these cancers may be some unknown combination of genetics, environmental factors and personal behavior.
This third Cancer Prevention Study from the American Cancer Society offers us hope for finding out why cancer happens, and, more importantly, offers us hope for finding ways to prevent cancer. Mercy Hospital Fort Smith is pleased to partner with the American Cancer Society and the people of our community in this critical cancer prevention study.
Cancer touches each one of us either directly or indirectly. In Arkansas more than 16,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year and more than 6,400 Arkansans die every year from cancer: That’s about one person every 82 minutes in Arkansas who dies of cancer.
People in the Fort Smith area have an unprecedented opportunity to participate in cancer research this year. Enrollment for the American Cancer Society’s third Cancer Prevention Study will take place at Mercy Fort Smith on July 19th and 20th. You can see all the enrollment times by visiting this website.
Individuals between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer and are willing to make a long-term commitment to the study are encouraged to sign up. Those who choose to enroll will simply fill out a comprehensive survey packet about health history, provide a small blood sample (to be collected by trained phlebotomists) and provide a waist measure. Participants will periodically be sent a follow-up questionnaire for the next 20 to 30 years.
If you aren’t eligible to participate, you can still make a difference by telling everyone you know about Cancer Prevention Study-3. Please consider taking a few minutes out of your day to give someone with cancer more birthdays.
Go to the CPS-3 website today to enroll.