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Historic Cancer Prevention Study Needs You

Residents of the Coachella Valley are being presented with an opportunity to participate in an historic study with the potential to change the face of cancer for future generations.

Men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer are needed to participate in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3), which will enroll a diverse study group of 300,000 people across the nation. Individuals who enroll will help researchers better understand the lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer. “All of us in the desert know someone who has been touched by cancer,” says Russ Russell, volunteer chair of the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Desert Palms Leadership Council. “This is our chance to personally take action.”

To enroll in the study, individuals complete two steps, one at their home computer, and one in person. At home, participants will log onto and sign up for an appointment day, fill out a survey, and sign an informed consent. As part of the in-person enrollment, individuals have their waist measured and give a small blood sample through Quest Diagnostics staff on site. Over the course of the study – which is anticipated to last 20 to 30 years – participants will be asked to fill out follow-up surveys every few years that will be sent to their home by mail or email.

enrollment “Many individuals diagnosed with cancer struggle to answer the question, ‘What caused my cancer?’ In many cases, we don’t know the answer,” said Alpa V. Patel, Ph.D., a CPS-3 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 it.” Dr. Patel added, “Our previous cancer prevention studies have been instrumental in helping us identify some of the major factors that can affect cancer risk, and we can only do this if members of the community are willing to become involved.”

Researchers will use the data from CPS-3 to build on evidence from a series of previous ACS studies that began in the 1950s and have collectively involved millions of volunteer participants. The Hammond-Horn Study and previous Cancer Prevention Studies (CPS-I, and CPS-II) have played a major role in understanding cancer prevention and risk, and have contributed significantly to the development of public health guidelines and recommendations. Those studies confirmed the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, demonstrated the link between larger waist size and increased death rates from cancer and other causes, and showed the considerable impact of air pollution on heart and lung conditions. The current study, CPS-II, began in 1982 and is still ongoing. But changes in lifestyle and in the understanding of cancer in the more than two decades since its launch make it important to begin a new study.

For more information or to learn how to become involved with CPS-3, visit, email cps3@cancer org, or call toll-free 1-888-604-5888. To be a part of the enrollment in the desert, make your appointment at

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