Opportunity knocking: Help with cancer research in a big way

We are working in partnership with the American Cancer Society to spread the word about an important cancer-fighting initiative. 

Some of the risk factors for cancer that we now take for granted — lifestyle, genetics, and environment — were uncovered, in the not-too-distant past, through huge long-term studies. Those studies have been paramount to providing insights that have made us try to stop smoking, avoid obesity, and limit chemical exposure in an increasingly chemical world. A moment of gratitude for the participants of those studies.

This month, the American Cancer Society is launching the third generation of these research efforts, and we Bay Area folks have the opportunity to help.

What is required

Study participants will make a long-term commitment to this research by providing a blood sample and basic information to enroll. Every two to three years, for twenty or more years, health-related survey questions will be fielded again. Participants are not being asked to change their behavior. The research is intended only to build out the database so that trends can be studied.

The enrollment process begins with an appointment at a local venue to have a small amount of data captured and blood sample taken. The appointment will take 20-30 minutes.

At home, there will be an online survey component of lifestyle and medical questions that may take 45 minutes to complete. The time commitment is similar to the time it takes to watch a mediocre drama on television and it’s certainly a better investment of time, not that I don’t love a good tv binge.

acspc-039213Berkeley parent Polly Pagenhart, author of the blog Lesbian Dad, who lost her elementary school-aged nephew to cancer says, “I will do this to honor my nephew’s generation. ” Polly also suggested that taking time to answer questions about self-care and health delivers participants an exercise in mindfulness about their existing habits, a bonus.

Who is eligible to participate

Adults aged 30-65 who have never diagnosed with cancer. (Non-malignant skin cancer is okay.)

The Bay Area offers a diverse population for study, so the ACS is particularly interested in recruiting participants here. Enrolling in this study is a small action that anyone can do in honor of a loved one that has been lost to cancer.

Dads, ACS tells me that there are far more women participating in the study than men, so you are especially needed to help enhance the research.

Benefits to enrolling

It is with great pride that the American Cancer Society told us that folks recruited in the second generation study in 1982 are still participating in high numbers. People feel a strong connection to this data-based tactic of fighting cancer.

Sharing your health information in this study will help unlock the next wave of answers about what causes cancer so that we can continue to prevent and control cancer in the next generations.

Participants are actively informed about research findings each year in plain language. Scientific papers on the findings are linked to on the ACS website, which is available at anytime.

Enrollment in the East Bay runs now through August 10.

Visit this link to sign up >

(Sneak preview of the locations where you can enroll in the East Bay)

ALAMEDA: Bay Area Chinese Bible Church
Multipurpose Room
1801 North Loop Road
Alameda, CA 94502
Saturday, July 20, 2013, 10:00 am – 1:30 pm Brookins AME Church

BERKELEY: Church by the Side of the Road
Fellowship Hall
2108 Russell Street
Berkeley, CA 94705
Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Saturday, August 3, 2013, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

OAKLAND: Fellowship Hall
2201 73rd Avenue
Oakland, CA 94605
Saturday, July 27, 2013, 11:00 am – 2:30 pm

OAKLAND: Hiram Hall/Judah the Gathering Place
8105 Capwell Drive
Oakland, CA 94621
Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm

FREMONT: Office of Fremont Chinese School
44555 South Grimmer Boulevard
Fremont, CA 94538
Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm

LIVERMORE: ValleyCare Health System
LifeStyle Rx Center
1119 East Stanley Boulevard
Livermore, CA 94550
Thursday, July 25, 2013, 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm

We are pleased to have been able to offer the American Cancer Society our editorial space to advertise their program through Women Online/The Mission List. All opinions stated here are my own.