The American Cancer Society is recruiting Merced County residents to participate in a new study to help researchers learn more about the causes of cancer and how to prevent it.
The Cancer Prevention Study-3 will follow 300,000 people from across the country for the next 20 to 30 years to analyze genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that may cause cancer. For the first time, the study will involve taking blood samples from participants.
Officials from the American Cancer Society are hoping to recruit at least 150 people from Merced County to take part in the study.
Dr. Alpa Patel, principal investigator for the study, said the current recruitment effort will be Merced County’s last opportunity to participate because enrollment ends in December.
Patel said the landmark study can shape the future of cancer prevention and allows one generation to help improve their descendants’ health.
“Most of the people I’ve encountered in the process have said this is something small they can do to improve the chances that cancer will not mean the same thing as it does today,” Patel said. “It’s one generation paying it forward to the next.”
To be eligible for the study, participants must be between the ages of 30 and 65 and never diagnosed with cancer other than a non-melanoma skin cancer. Participants must agree to a long-term commitment that includes periodic follow-up surveys.