The Fairfield Glade Advisory Committee of the American Cancer Society (ACS) has received an interesting request as we begin our 2012 campaign. It regards a new ACS long-term study that will be recruiting members this year. This is a brief synopsis of a very important event that could include Cumberland County.  

You may wonder, who or what is CPS-3; possibly a relative of that cute Star Wars robot CPO? CPS is not as glossy as CPO, but CPS, the abbreviation for the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) “Cancer Prevention Studies,” has had much more impact on the international fight against cancer. These long-term, follow-up studies have played a major role in cancer prevention. More than 300 scientific articles by ACS epidemiologists have been published from these studies and the findings have contributed significantly to tobacco-related research, understanding obesity, diet, physical activity, hormone use, air pollution, and other exposures with a relationship to cancer and other diseases.

A brief review might be helpful: The Hammond–Horn Study (1952-1955) included 188,000 U.S. men. The study was the first to examine the effect of cigarette smoking on death rates from cancer and other diseases. This study set the methodological foundation for two subsequent Cancer Prevention Studies, CPS-I and CPS-II. 

CPS-I (1959-1972) included nearly one million men and women recruited by 68,000 volunteers in 25 states. CPS-I was designed to address a wide range of potential exposures, in addition to tobacco use, that may increase or decrease risk. CPS-II, Nutrition Cohort (1992-ongoing) included 185,000 participants from 21 states. The study is designed to better understand how diet as well as environmental and genetic issues affects cancer risk. Why is CPS-3 needed? Partly because the CPS-II study population is aging; a new study population for the next generation needs to be recruited. The environment and lifestyles change with time and CPS-III will study members for the next 20 to 30 years. Anyone who is willing to make a long-term commitment to the study by completing surveys every few years between the ages of 30 and 65 years old, may become a study member. Volunteers should not have been diagnosed with cancer (not including basal or squamous cell skin cancer).

The Cumberland County sign-up day will be held at Central Baptist Church on August 9th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be a web-site available in a few weeks to register. Cumberland County will need 150 volunteers to be part of this important study. Keep in mind that this study membership will be recruited throughout the U.S. If you have children or grandchildren within the age parameters you may want to encourage them to participate. The goal of the American Cancer Society is to eliminate cancer as a major health concern for future generations and most importantly, to create a world with more birthdays.