The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

July 7, 2013

Looking for volunteers

Study to look at cancer factors, links

DANVILLE — If you live in Vermilion County, chances are you’ve been touched by cancer — either personally or you know someone who’s waged, and maybe lost, the battle. Cancer is the second leading cause of death, behind heart disease, in Vermilion County, according to the Vermilion County Community Health Plan 2012-2017, issued last year.

Two oncologists who treat area patients say the county has a cancer rate that’s higher than normal, compared to the rest of the state and country.

However, that trend has been stable in the last few years, said Dr. Vamsi K. Vasireddy, division head of medical oncology at the Carle Cancer Center.

Dr. Jo-Mel Labayog, medical director of the Presence United Samaritans Cancer Center, agreed, and said the area has a higher rate of lung cancer cases and deaths.

“Vermilion County has some of the highest smoking rates in the state,” he said, adding that many of the lung cancer patients come to the center in an advanced stage.

Labayog also noted the number of melanoma cases is rising quickly, nationwide, while Vasireddy said he’s seeing a worsening trend of more pancreatic and lower esophageal cancers.

Still, both doctors said lung cancer causes the most deaths.

A new study, the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3), hopes to take a closer look at what causes cancer, and how geography, for example, plays a role.

Men and women between ages 30 and 65 across the country are being sought to take part in a long-term American Cancer Society study.

Labayog, 50, and Vasireddy, 42, both plan to participate. “That’s how important it is,” Labayog said.

Past studies in the 1950s and ‘80s have uncovered valuable information, such as the benefits of multivitamins in the prevention of cancer.

“Any way you can help people in your community and the future health of the next generation, I think it’s important to participate,” he said. “You can help make a difference down the road.”

Vasireddy said such studies reveal — or reinforce — the dangers of second-hand smoke, for example, or environmental factors. Vermilion County once was home to several factories, and that might be a factor in the cancer rate.

A higher rate of obesity also plays a role in some cancers. “People underestimate how harmful obesity is,” Vasireddy said.

By interviewing people about their environment and lifestyle, the study expects to find links to cancer. It’s also one of the first studies to explore genetics and cancer, he said.

Breast cancer tests

The Presence and Carle cancer centers have many resources available to people, including the availability of tests for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, which are associated with a high risk of breast and ovarian cancers. The test is simple — done with a blood draw or a sample swabbed from the mouth.

Insurance often will pay for BRCA testing if there’s a family history of breast cancer.

In May, actress Angelina Jolie revealed she had tested positive for the BRCA1 gene; as a result, she had a double mastectomy as a preventative measure.

A high-profile person such as Jolie can bring awareness of cancer issues before the public.

A couple of people have talked to Labayog about the issue, but, otherwise he hasn’t seen a sudden surge of women seeking the test. Instead, women would be talking to their family physician or someone at the Women’s Health Center, rather than him, he said.

Inherited genes account for 5-10 percent of all breast cancer cases, he said. The other 90-95 percent is “sporadic” — that is, not inherited, or with no definite cause.

Deciding whether to have the tests and how to react are difficult decisions for women, he said.

If a woman does decide to have the pre-emptive surgery, Presence also has a plastic surgeon who can do reconstructive surgery.

Vasireddy also said he hasn’t seen an increase in requests for the tests or surgery. The Carle Cancer Center also offers the tests.

An MRI is able to pick up the presence of small tumors, he said, and gives more information than the tests, which give the risks.

The important thing is counseling, he said. If a test returns positive, a woman needs to consider all options.

“What to do with the results is the frightening aspect,” he said. “The important thing is to talk to them about the test and what it means. That will take an emotional toll on the family, as well.”


To learn more about CPS-3, watch a video, or register for any of the sites in Illinois, visit or call toll-free (888) 604-5888.

Information also is available by calling Lawrence Underwood at the American Cancer Society at (217) 356-4861 or e-mail

Text Only
Local News
  • Children’s play set for weekend

    July 23, 2014

  • Westville council limits parking on two streets

    Village trustees approved an ordinance Tuesday night to restrict parking on two village streets.

    July 23, 2014

  • Children’s show auditions set

    July 23, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    July 23, 2014

  • Veedersburg council to replace air conditioner at city hall

    Town council members learned Tuesday the air conditioning system at the town hall and fire station needs to be replaced.

    July 23, 2014

  • Health Overhaul Subsi_Morr.jpg Courts split on health law clash WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s health care law is snarled in another big legal battle, with two federal appeals courts issuing contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday.But the split rulings don’t necess

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Robbery suspect gets 13 years DANVILLE — A man accused of robbing the Oakwood adult book store earlier this year was sentenced Monday to prison.Joel Frazier, 28, of Danville, appeared in Vermilion County Circuit Court on Monday on three separate cases. He was sentenced to a total

    July 23, 2014

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include:DanvilleFriday:Theft in the 1100 block of Meadow Street.Saturday:Theft in the 800 block of East Madison Street.SaturdayCriminal damage, attempted battery and aggravated discharge of a firearm in the 500 block of S

    July 23, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls:Monday, 9:59-11:05 a.m. — A natural gas leak at 22 S. Kansas Ave.Monday, 12:36-12:47 p.m. — A medical call in the 1200 block of Cleveland Street.Monday, 1:52-2:58 p.m. — A natural gas leak at 22 S. Kansas

    July 23, 2014

  • State's attorney drops murder charges DANVILLE — Murder charges filed against a Danville man were dropped Monday during Vermilion County Circuit Court proceedings.The Vermilion County State’s Attorney’s Office motioned to drop the charges of first-degree murder filed against Edward Woodf

    July 23, 2014

Spring 2014 Photos

Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'
Must Read