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Volunteers wanted for cancer research

April 03, 2013|By Mary MacVean
  • Previous studies that the public took part in helped find a link between cancer and smoking.
Previous studies that the public took part in helped find a link between… (Getty Images )

The American Cancer Society is looking for 120,000 volunteers for a long-term study, called Cancer Prevention Study 3, that could help determine cancer risks for future generations.

“Many cancer patients struggle to answer the question, ‘What caused my cancer?’ In many cases, we don’t know the answer,” said Alpa V. Patel, the study’s 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.”

Earlier studies, CPS-1 and CPS-2, helped determine the links between smoking and cancer and weight and cancer, said Eric Beikmann, cancer society spokesman.

People are eligible for the study if they are ages 30 to 65 and have never been diagnosed with cancer; if a relative has been diagnosed, that’s OK. The society has a lot of white women and is especially looking for men and people who are not white, Beikmann said Tuesday. Overall, 300,000 people are wanted nationwide; 180,000 have signed up.

People can sign up from now until April 18 for the project at www.cps3la.org, or they can call (888) 604-5888. Appointments will be made at 32 sites around Los Angeles County from April 18 to May 9.

Taking part in the study means attending a half-hour appointment where blood and health information is taken. Then for the next 20 to 30 years, participants receive follow-up questionnaires every couple of years that they need to complete, said Beikmann, who enrolled himself a few years ago.

 All the information is confidential.

 “It’s a commitment. We need people who are willing to do this for that long term,” he said.

“Our previous cancer prevention studies have been instrumental in helping us identify some of the major factors that can affect cancer risk,” Patel said in a statement. “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.”

mary.macvean@latimes.com

@mmacvean on Twitter

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