Wanted: Participants for Historic Cancer Prevention Research

American Cancer Society staffers explain next steps to CPS-3 participant Jen Cyr, who had just submitted her enrollment questionnaire.  (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health Center Photo)

American Cancer Society staffers explain next steps to CPS-3 participant Jen Cyr, who had just submitted her enrollment questionnaire. (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health Center Photo)

Jen Cyr, a UConn Health Center postdoctoral fellow, has a research interest in cancer. So it’s only natural that she would sign up for the American Cancer Society’s long-range research project Cancer Prevention Study – 3.

“It’s a huge epidemiological study that will tell us a lot about how lifestyle impacts cancer,” Cyr says. “Understanding risk and prevention is a key area of cancer research right now. This study is very important yet easy to join, so anyone who wants to contribute to the cancer battle can help out by enrolling.”

The UConn Health Center is one of five enrollment sites in the Hartford area this month for CPS-3, which seeks 300,000 men and women nationally to agree to take periodic surveys about their health over the next 20 years or longer.

Terry Wright, an information technology analyst at the UConn Health Center, wants to help find a cure.

“I just wanted to do my part,” says Wright, who also just enrolled. “Participating doesn’t take much time and this seemed like an excellent opportunity to get involved.”

Dr. Richard Everson, himself a cancer researcher, is now also a study participant, as phlebotomist Norah Farris takes a blood draw. (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health Center Photo)

Dr. Richard Everson, himself a cancer researcher, is now also a study participant, as phlebotomist Norah Farris takes a blood draw. (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health Center Photo)

CPS-3 aims to gather information related to lifestyle, environment and genetics from a diverse group of adults between 30 and 65 who have no personal cancer history, and follow up with them as they age.

“I wanted to be a part of the study and possibly provide some information that could further the research, maybe helping people who either suffer from cancer or who may suffer in the future,” says Frank Kneeland of Wethersfield, who came to the UConn Health Center to sign up Wednesday afternoon.

Findings from earlier generations of this study include the link between second-hand smoke and cancer, and a decrease in colon cancer risk with aspirin use, according to Michelle Wolf, state vice president for health initiatives at the American Cancer Society,

“In 10, 20, 30 years, when the findings from this study come out, people will be proud to have been a part of this cancer prevention study, and so proud to have been part of finding some link that may prevent someone from getting cancer,” says Wolf, herself a participant. “It’s a very small time commitment, and I know it will be very rewarding. And we are so grateful to UConn for letting us set up here to enroll participants.”

Participation involves an initial survey, a waist circumference measurement, and a small blood sample, followed every few years by occasional questionnaires sent by mail. More information is available on the American Cancer Society website.

“The UConn Health Center has a mission to maintain healthy lives and restore wellness to our citizens,” says Jody Blumburg, administrative director of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center. “As an academic medical center and home to the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, we are proud to support the research of the American Cancer Society, a valued partner in patient navigation and many other research endeavors. I encourage anyone who is eligible for the study to take part.”

The American Cancer Society is back at the UConn Health Center to enroll more participants Friday, Sept. 28, from 6 to 10 a.m., and Saturday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


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