Cancer study open to residents

Published 12:03 am Saturday, September 22, 2012

Andalusia residents will soon have the opportunity to make a difference in cancer research, thanks to a historic nationwide study that will take place in the area this fall.

Powe-rSouth Commun-ications Manager Mark Ingram said that PowerSouth has been chosen as the headquarters for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3.

A CPS-3 is a study designed to better understand lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer and ultimately to help eliminate cancer.

Ingram said that former ACS field representative and Andalusia native Katelyn Powell Ellis was instrumental in working with other ACS field reps to get the study to Andalusia.

“She met with human resources and from there, we got involved,” Ingram said. “This is a program they have been doing for several years. PowerSouth has been involved in ACS for years through the Touchstone Energy sponsorship and now the PowerSouth sponsorship. This is just another way we can give back to the community.”

Additionally, PowerSouth has partnered with Covington Electric Cooperative, Shaw Industries, Andalusia Regional Hospital and is working with the City of Andalusia to help get the information out about the study and recruit volunteers for the signup.

The study will take place in November and those who participate will be asked to complete a survey, provide physical measurements, such as waist size, weight, height, blood pressure and heart rate and give a small blood sample. At home, participants will receive periodic follow-up surveys and research updates through annual newsletters.

Those who participate will be followed for the next 20 years through mailed questionnaires.

Men and women ages 30 to 65, who have never been diagnosed with cancer may participate, and it is free to enroll.

The study will begin with ACS collecting information on various exposures from individuals who do not have cancer and will continue to update that information over time.

As cases of cancer or other diseases develop, ACS will compare those participants who develop cancer to those who do not.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Americans to participate in lifesaving cancer research,” said Angela Davis, associate state vice president for the ACS, in a press release. “While the American Cancer Society has been conducting these types of studies for decades, their world-class research department can only study new and emerging cancer risks if members of the community are willing to become involved.”

A kickoff event will be held Tuesday at PowerSouth at 10 a.m., with a 30-minute educational program.

“Many of our community champions, who are mostly cancer survivors will be there,” Ingram said. “Patty Ashworth, who is a survivor will speak and we’ll also have Mayor Earl Johnson.”