American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study: Be In it to Win It (Good Health, That Is!)

There has been a lot of publicity lately about breast cancer because of the article Peggy Orenstein wrote entitled The Problem with Pink in The New York Times on April 28th. Read about my response to the article on The Patch. In the wake of that discussion it’s important that we not forget what we are aiming for: the eradication of not only breast cancer, but all cancers.

Today there are nearly 12 million people in the U.S. who have survived cancer and many, many more who have avoided it due to screenings such as colonoscopies and mammograms. Those people will be celebrating birthdays this year, but we would like more people to have that chance.

On June 11-13, the American Cancer Society will start enrollment in Monmouth and Ocean counties in a nationwide Cancer Prevention Study (CPS-3) that will help us understand how to prevent cancer. Anyone between 30 and 65 years old, who has never been diagnosed with cancer, is eligible to participate as long as they are willing to make a long-term commitment to fill out surveys at home every few years after their initial sign-up.

How do you go about signing up? First you make an enrollment appointment at and complete a comprehensive baseline survey.  The second step involves going to the local enrollment site for some further information, a measurement of waist circumference and a small blood sample.  There is no cost for participation. Anyone who participates will receive annual newsletters to inform them about ongoing research. Enrollment will take place in Monmouth and Ocean counties on June 11-13.

This study is important because although there is a lot of research underway to identify ways to treat and cure cancer, we also need to know how to prevent it.  We need to better understand the role that nutrition, exercise and other health practices play in why some people get cancer and others do not.

Many people seem to be able to get involved once someone gets sick. They walk, raise money, go to galas and run in races. I hope many of you will give yourself and others the gift of taking action before cancer hits.