Volunteers Step Up for Cancer Prevention Study

Blood is Drawn for CPS-3 Study
Volunteer Participant DeAnna Ward
DeAnna Ward bravely endured having four vials of blood drawn from her arm. She also shared vital statistics like her waist measurement and dozens of survey answers with American Cancer Society staff in Knoxville, Tennessee. She's not ill.Far from it, Ward is the picture of health, and an avid runner.  She's hoping to help someone else avoid cancer.

Waist Measurement for CPS-3 Study
I asked Ward why she took time to participate in the landmark CPS-3 study that requires her involvement for several years to come.  She answered, "My mom had breast cancer, and it's a way of giving back a little bit."  Ward proudly explained that her mother, Carolyn White, has survived cancer.  Her mother also happens to be an avid runner.  Lifestyle questions about exercise, eating habits and more fill the enrollment survey for this third long-term cancer prevention study by the American Cancer Society.

Regional ACS spokesperson Jenny Stripling said the Knoxville area has more than 500 volunteer participants in the CPS-3 study that aims to enroll 300,000 people nationwide by 2013.  The ACS states, "The purpose of this research is to better understand the lifestyle, behavioral, environmental, and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer and other diseases in a large group of men and women in the United States."

Bonnie Hufford did not qualify as a survey participant, because she's already survived a fight with multiple myeloma.  Instead, the college journalism instructor volunteers in several local and national roles with the ACS.  Locally, she helps organize the Relay for Life on the University of Tennessee campus.  Nationally, she serves on a board that reviews projects for grant funding.  Hufford has two brothers who've also had brushes with cancer, and she wonders about a genetic link.  "To me, being able to understand why and where this happens is just a critical thing."

The first major cancer prevention study by the ACS in the 1950s helped establish a link between smoking and lung cancer.  The second major study in the 1980s set the stage for guidelines on nutrition, physical activity and avoiding secondhand smoke.  Tomorrow on FlourSackMama.com:  more on what this third major study is examining that has the potential to yield new guidelines for cancer prevention.