The American Cancer Society is seeking 700 Siouxlanders to enroll in a new long-term cancer research study.
Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3), is open to anyone between the ages of 30 and 65 who has never been diagnosed with cancer other than basal or squamous cell skin cancers.
The American Cancer Society's first cancer prevention study (CPS-I), which was conducted in the 1950s, established a link between lung cancer and smoking. The second study (CPS-II) in the early 80s looked at environmental factors and lifestyle exposures that increase or decrease a person's risk of developing cancer.
"By following volunteers over the 20 years we will be gathering new information. That information translates in answers, in treatment, new ways of curing cancer and ultimately the reason why we're here, is we want to save lives," Liddy Hora, American Cancer Society account manager, said Tuesday during a news conference at the June E. Nylen Cancer Center.
The American Cancer Society's goal is to follow 300,000 participants from around the country. So far, 185,000 people nationwide have signed for the study, according to Chuck Reed, public relations manager for the Iowa Region of the American Cancer Society.
At events in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and the Quad Cities, Reed said 2,800 people registered. A minimum of 3,625 volunteers are needed in Iowa.
Jim Wharton, Mercy Medical Center vice president of marketing and services, said more than 100 people have already signed up for an enrollment event at the hospital.
"We're making a lot of noise about it around the hospital," he said. "We're going to make sure that people who might be eligible to participate in the study do what they can to help the initiative."
In addition to Sioux City, American Cancer Society representatives will also visit Mason City, Fort Dodge and Iowa City this year to enroll people in the study. Other participants, Reed said, will be state government workers and employees from University of Iowa hospitals and clinics.
After scheduling an enrollment appointment at CPS3Siouxland.org, participants will answer some initial questions online about the medications they are taking, their family history of cancer, their lifestyle and other behaviors.
At their appointment, which will be held at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center, Long Lines Family Recreation Center or the June E. Nylen Cancer Center, participants will have their waists measured and their blood drawn.
"I think this study is going to go a little deeper," Hora said. "By drawing some blood we have more information than we've ever had before to see if there's a genetic component."
Followup surveys will arrive in participants' mailboxes every three to four years for the next 20 years.
After a family member or friend is diagnosed with cancer, Reed said people often ask, "What can I do to help?" The study, he said, is their chance to make a difference in the fight against cancer.
"A bunch of people who don't have cancer are going to help those who do have cancer," he said.