Stacia Carroll has not been diagnosed with cancer, but she feels a passion for those who have.
The certified cancer exercise specialist with Trinity Regional Health System is devoted to building enthusiasm and driving volunteerism for the American Cancer Society’s historic Cancer Prevention Study-3, or CPS-3.
“I have been personally touched by family members and friends who have been diagnosed with cancer, and I feel a firm moral obligation to share information that may be useful in preventing future generations from getting a cancer diagnosis. This is a worthwhile effort,” said Carroll, who works with cancer patients at both Trinity and the Two Rivers YMCA in Moline.
Enrollment begins today for the CPS-3 study, but organizers say the Quad-Cities remains 100 volunteers short of the 600 people being recruited in this area for the major research study. Enrollment remains open through Oct. 11 in the Quad-City region.
The CPS-3 study is only the third major nationwide study undertaken by the American Cancer Society in the past 60 years. Researchers will use the study to better understand the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer.
The organization seeks to enroll at least 300,000 adults from various racial and ethnic backgrounds across the United States. The entire study will be scrapped if enough volunteers do not step forward.
“That would be so unfortunate,” Carroll said.
In the two previous studies of this magnitude, cancer researchers first proved a link between tobacco use and cancer. In the second study, they showed the relationship between obesity and cancer.
This study is the first one to include a blood sample from all volunteers. The sample will provide much more precise medical data to scientists.
As a nurse who has worked with research studies for 15 years, Turner sees how such information can impact changes in the medical field, both in terms of cancer detection and in treatments for the disease.
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“Many people don’t give research much credit in medicine. But screening tests, medications, vaccines and all types of methods to help patients first started with volunteers and a research study,” she said.
The Quad-City kickoff site this week is at Genesis Medical Center, 1227 E. Rusholme St., Davenport. Volunteers will complete a comprehensive survey and the actual appointment will provide a waist measurement as well as taking the blood sample.
After that, volunteers will periodically receive follow-up surveys, mailed to their homes every few years so they can provide updated information. They also will receive annual newsletters to inform them of the research taking place.
The time commitment doesn’t seem to be too much, said Kim Turner, a research nurse at Genesis. It only seeks a person’s information and opinion, she added, and there are no right or wrong answers.
“It will be good to get this study under way,” Turner added.
Walk-ins are welcome during the enrollment period.