BY MARY WICOFF
An historic research study is a great opportunity for Vermilion County residents to make a difference.
That’s how Melissa Parson, 47, of Danville sees it.
Parson, who volunteers with Relay for Life, plans to participate in the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3), and also do volunteer work as part of it. The American Cancer Society study will give scientists a better understanding of cancer causes and prevention.
“Here’s your chance to stand up and be counted,” she said. People have a tendency to sit back and observe, or complain, but the study will allow them to make a difference.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for Vermilion County,” she added.
On Wednesday, local residents will have the chance to enroll in CPS-3 at Presence United Samaritans Medical Center, Conference Rooms 2 and 3, 812 N. Logan Ave. Enrollment will take place from 3-6:30 p.m. People are encouraged to register now online at http://www.cps3illinois.org or by calling (888) 604-5888.
Parson has never had cancer; in fact, cancer survivors (except for basal and squamous cell skin cancers) aren’t eligible to participate. But she, like many others, has family members who have had cancer.
The study will take into account a person’s lifestyle, such as the amount of exercise, habits and nutrition.
At signup, a person has to have his waist measured and give a small amount of blood. That blood will not be analyzed unless a person is diagnosed with cancer, Parson said.
At this one-time in-person visit, a person will read and sign a consent form, complete a survey, have his or her waist measured, and give a small non-fasting blood sample. Participants will complete a more detailed survey at home and will continue to receive periodic follow-up surveys in the future that researchers will use to look for more clues to cancer’s causes.
Every two to three years, the person will fill out a survey, updating his lifestyle and environment. The long-term study will continue for 20-30 years.
People are encouraged to pre-register to sign up for the study. However, Parson said, walk-ins will be accommodated.
Because this is a nationwide study, people may enroll at any site. Besides Wednesday’s enrollment in Danville, people also may sign up:
Tuesday, 2-5:30 p.m. at Carle–Urbana on Windsor, 1818 E. Windsor Road.
Wednesday, 4–7:30 p.m. at Christie Clinic Windsor, Education Room, 1801 W. Windsor Road, Champaign.
Thursday, 3-6:30 p.m. at St. Anthony’s, The Pine Medical Center, Suite 3, 904 Medical Park Drive, Effingham.
Friday, 4-7:30 p.m. at Coles County Council on Aging, LifeSpan Center, Conference Room, 11021 East County Road 800N, Charleston.
The goal is to enroll 140 people at each site in the American Cancer Society’s Eastern Region.
Shayne Squires, communications manager with Illinois division of the American Cancer Society, said, “It’s something we can do and it’s easy. It’s not a huge commitment of time. It’s an amazing thing to be part of.”
This year’s Relay for Life in Vermilion County will be Aug. 17 and 18 at Catlin High School.