Locals: Our families had cancer; we want to help

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Kim Springer said her father and grandmother both died of colon cancer. She watched them suffer, she said.

As a result, she herself has had more check-ups and tried to use preventative measures, like sunscreen. And she was pleased to be among the first area residents to sign up for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS3).

Springer, who attended a press conference and meeting for volunteers at PowerSouth yesterday, said she hopes that by participating, she can help make life better for future generations.

Jeanette Malwitz agreed.

“Cancer runs in my family,” she said. “My mom was 75 when she had a mastectomy. I’ve had aunts and uncles who all passed away as a result of cancer.”

So she wonders, she said, if she, too will be a victim.

“This study is very important to me,” she said. “If I can do anything to help my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, I want to do it.”

Like others who agree to participate, Springer and Malwitz will each complete an in-depth survey about their family and personal health histories. Then, in November, they’ll return to PowerSouth for a short survey and to have blood drawn. At that point, they will no longer be Kim Springer and Jeanette Malwitz to the American Cancer Society, but will be identified with a bar code to protect their privacy.

About every two years, they’ll be asked to complete additional surveys. If anyone in the study is diagnosed with cancer, he or she will be asked to contact the American Cancer Society. At that point, researchers will pull their original blood samples and track their history, studying potential causes of their cancers.

Participants must be between the ages of 30 and 65. To enroll in the study, go to www.cps3covington.org.