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April 30, 2013

Relay for Life money going directly to research

WASHINGTON — Money raised from the Daviess County Relay for Life is being put to work in the form of Cancer Prevention-Study 3 or CPS-3.  Over 35 local residents enrolled last week, at the Antioch Christian Church, in the research program that tracks its participate over the next 20 to 30 years. The goal of the program is to better understand what causes and how to prevent cancer and other diseases.

“We always say at Relay for Life, money raised at the event will go for cancer research. Now we are doing that research locally and we are not just raising money,” said Daviess County Relay for Life co-chairman and cancer survivor Danyelle Widner.

“For many years I have been a part of our local Relay for Life where we raise funds for research.  To be part of the research funded by these dollars is a great feeling,” said Chastity Barker, one of the CPS-3 participants. “I have had several family members diagnosed with cancer and want to help find a cure,” Barker added.

“I did this for my wonderful wife who is a cancer survivor,” said Barry Widner after signing up. “She is a strong woman and I thought this was the right thing to do.”

The study tracks people ages 30 to 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer. “CPS-3 will look at environmental, lifestyle and genetic factors of those participating,” said Ryan Rigg, community representative for the Great Lakes Division of the American Cancer Society.

“When participants enroll, we have them sign consent forms, complete a survey, provide their weight, height, heart rate and blood pressure. 

“When they are home they will be sent research updates and periodically follow-up surveys,” said Rigg.

Originally started in the 1950’s, the program now in its third stage, is funded and managed by the American Cancer Society’s Epidemiology Research Program. The previous two studies have found the impact of air pollution on heart and lung conditions which motivated the Environmental Protection Agency to propose stringent limits on air pollution and was the first to show the significant impact of obesity on the risk of dying from cancer according cancer.org, the website for the American Cancer Society.

Also determined from  program research is the substantial effect of cirgarette smoking and secondhand smoke on lung cancer and premature death which lead to the US Surgeon General’s report, warning labels on cigarettes,  many other smoke-free legislative measures and a drop in smoking rates among men from 50 percent in the 1950’s to 23 percent today.

For more information on CPS-3 or the American Cancer Society, visit cancer.org or call toll free 1-888-604-5888

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