CAPITAL DISTRICT There are 479 people in the Capital District who are helping to fight cancer by raising more than $92,000 for Relay For Life. But this year, there’s another way even more people can join the fight, and it won’t cost a penny.
Men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer can enroll in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 at the 17th Relay For Life on Friday, June 8, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Christian Brothers Academy in Colonie.
The organization hoped to recruit between 300,000 and 500,000 individuals from across the country when enrollment opened in 2007. So far, more than 160,000 Americans have signed on. Researchers will use the information gathered to better understand lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer.
“We’re adding more every day … but we still need a bunch more. We’re getting toward the end of the enrollment window,” said Loretta Hackney, director of special events at the American Cancer Society.
Enrollment ends in December 2013. From then on, participants will be sent surveys sporadically for 20 or 30 years.
Hackney enrolled in 2009.
“Personally, I found it to be one of the most empowering ways to give back because I’m providing my personal information to a study that hopefully is going to yield significant results in what causes or prevents cancer and that could save lives,” said Hackney.
Enrollment takes about 30 minutes and Hackney said follow-up studies take about an hour or less to complete.
This is the society’s third cancer study. The first began in the 1950s and exposed the link between tobacco and cancer, leading to surgeon general warnings on cigarette packaging and anti-smoking campaigns. The second study started in 1982 and is still ongoing. It has yielded results about obesity and cancer risk.