Back when cancer was discussed in hushed, bewildered tones, researchers started looking for clues to
Their first discoveries – in the 1950s – unlocked groundbreaking mysteries such as the link between cancer and smoking. By the ’80s, a second round of assessments revealed how obesity played a role in the dangerous and deadly diseases.
This week, the third generation of the Cancer Prevention Study arrives in Tampa, and the American Cancer Society is hoping to add to a growing roster of 200,000 volunteer participants. The goal is to have 300,000 adults from different racial and ethic backgrounds sign up across the nation.
Scientists are looking specifically for adults, ages 30 to 65, who have never been diagnosed with cancer and are willing to check in once every two years for the next two decades.
Barbara Hancock of Lutz signed up last fall during an event for Relay for Life, a fundraiser she’s helped run for 14 years. She lost both her parents to cancer and believes her involvement can matter as much as all her charity work.
“This is very special. It really is something that money cannot buy,” said Hancock, 57. “I have a 20-year-old daughter. … I hope this information can help.”
Initially, participants will fill out a comprehensive health survey before their in-person visit, where they also will provide blood samples and waist measurements. Hancock said the questions aren’t difficult.
“Even giving the blood isn’t bad,” she said of the confidential tests and surveys. “The worst part is that most people cringe when they get the waist measurement.”
The biennial follow-ups will be at-home surveys that can be finished in about 15 to 20 minutes. Questions will focus on the things that can cause or prevent cancer: behavior, environment, lifestyle and genetics.
The Tampa sites — St. Joseph’s Hospital, Moffitt Cancer Center and the Hillsborough County School Board headquarters — will be open at various times through May 2. Appointments can be made at www.cancer.org/cps3 or by calling (888) 604-5888.
Nearly one in every two men and one in three women in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Hancock said she’s happy to help researchers take a different look at a disease that affects far too many.
“It’s a small commitment for what hopefully is an enormous payoff,” she said.
To enroll in the Cancer Prevention Study, visit www.cancer.org/cps3 or call (888) 604-5888. You will get a survey to complete and can schedule an appointment for one of the following dates:
-Thursday, 7:30 to 11 a.m. at Moffitt Cancer Center, Stabile Research Building Atrium, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa
-Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Moffitt Cancer Center, Stabile Research Building Atrium, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa
-April 30, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hillsborough County Public Schools Board Auditorium, 901 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa
-May 2, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at St. Joseph’s Hospital Medical Arts Building, 3001 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Tampa
-May 2, 3 to 6:30 p.m., Hillsborough County Public Schools Board Auditorium, 901 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa