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Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Cancer Society seeking volunteers for long-term cancer study

Riguey King of the American Cancer Society.

The American Cancer Society is looking for volunteers from the Fredericksburg area to enroll in a long-term cancer research study.

The 30-year study, called Cancer Prevention Study-3, will attempt to identify the genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that lead to cancer.

The national study is donor-funded and has been ongoing since 2006. It has 150,000 participants. The Cancer Society hopes to increase that number to 300,000. Volunteers must be 30 to 65, with no history of cancer, not including basal or squamous cell skin cancer.

“This is one of these rare studies where we’re looking at healthy individuals,” said Riguey King, health systems director for the Cancer Society’s Central Virginia office.

Sign-ups have already occurred in Tidewater and Lynchburg, and others are planned for Richmond, Charlottesville and Northern Virginia, King said.

Participants will be asked to provide a blood sample and waist measurement. They also will be asked to fill out a detailed health questionnaire. Volunteers will receive additional survey questions every two to three years. There is no cost to participants and no payments.

“It is basically contributing to prevention science,” King said.

Participants are being asked to enroll in the study, either online or by phone, and receive an appointment for the blood draw and waist measurement. Stafford Hospital, Mary Washington Hospital and Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center will host the blood draws, Nov. 7-10, though hospital personnel are not involved in the program. The Cancer Society has hired Quest Diagnostics to take the samples.

This is the fourth long-term study conducted by the Cancer Society, King said. Beginning in 1952, the group did three studies, which, among its findings, identified smoking and second-hand smoke as harmful.

To enroll:

For more information about Cancer Prevention Study-3, call 888/604-5888, or go to the study website here. Enrollees will be asked to choose a day, time and location for the required blood draw and waist measurement. The options are:

Nov. 7: Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, 3-6:30 p.m.

Nov. 8: Mary Washington Hospital, 5-8:30 p.m.

Nov. 9: Stafford Hospital, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Nov. 10: Mary Washington Hospital, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.