Cancer prevention study needs your help
Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 2:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 2:47 p.m.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in Florida, and people in North Central Florida have a 28 percent higher risk of getting the disease than elsewhere in the state, according to data from the National Cancer Institute.
* What: The “Cancer Prevention Study-3” for cancer-free residents ages 30 to 65.
* When: Registration underway.
* Where: Cancer Center, North Florida Regional Medical Center.
* Information: Call 352-333-5840 or 352-376-6866.
With such daunting statistics, an effort to prevent the disease is underway, and the Cancer Center at North Florida Regional Medical Center is helping to lead that effort.
The Cancer Center is the North Central Florida host site for a national study by the American Cancer Society focused on preventing cancer. The study, called "Cancer Prevention Study-3," needs to enroll 300,000 people between ages 30 and 65 by the end of the year. So far, 256,000 people have joined, according to Cara Newby, area executive director for the Cancer Society. Newby spoke at an event at the Cancer Center last Thursday night to celebrate the 45 "champion" study participants, who are charged with enrolling at least 10 other people in the study.
So far, 92 people have enrolled locally — many of them North Florida Regional hospital staff. The goal is to enroll 350 people total from Gainesville and Ocala.
"We're living in the middle of cancer hell," said Mary Hill, an oncology nurse navigator at NFRMC. "So it's important for us in North Florida because we are affected more than others."
Study participants can't have cancer. When they enroll, they have a bit of blood drawn, their measurements taken and fill out a lifestyle survey — all of which takes about a half hour to complete, said Hill.
People can enroll online or by phone or in person on Oct. 24 and Oct. 27 at the Cancer Center.
If the study meets its enrollment, it will last 30 years, and participants will be given a survey every couple of years to fill out.
According to Newby, previous American Cancer Society studies had findings that resulted in the surgeon general's warning label linking smoking to lung cancer and second-hand smoke to lung cancer.
Hill added, "The work I do is so powerful. My goal is to be able to prevent cancer in the future."
Kristine Crane is a Gainesville Sun staff writer.