Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
Smoking has been clearly linked to cancer, studies say.
Now, studies show that second hand smoke has also been clearly linked to cancer.
Yeah, Yeah, old news, right?
That's thanks to two, well publicized, 20 year long American Cancer Society studies that began in the 1950s that gave birth to the anti-smoking campaigns of today.
The resulting information campaign eventually altered the law of the land with regard to smoking and have been credited with saving lives, said Woodward County Health Department Director, Terri Salisbury. And the link between cancer and smoking to most individuals seems as obvious now as the link between a hot dog and mustard.
Those two well known studies, CPS 1 and CPS 2, used thousands of volunteers throughout the United States who, once a year, answered questions about their environments, what they ate, what they drank and what they smoked.
It provided researchers with life saving data to roll out prevention campaigns that help others to keep from developing cancer, Salisbury said.
Now, Oklahomans are invited to participate in the third American Cancer Society study beginning in November. This one will also span 20 years and it will again seek to find answers to questions about the cause of certain cancers, Salisbury said.
"Nationwide, 300,000 study participants are needed, with 25 percent of those participants from diverse populations," Salisbury said. "The people of Northwest Oklahoma have an unprecedented opportunity to be a part of a project that could change the face of cancer for future generations."
The study, Salisbury said, is open to anyone between 30 and 65 years of age who has never been diagnosed with cancer.
Those who have hand simple basal cell or squamous cell cancers of the skin, can participate, she said.
"If it was a melanoma, they can't though," she said.
Basically, someone interested in participating in the study would fill out a survey that includes questions such as what you eat, how much you exercise, if you smoke, drink and how much, Salisbury said.
Upon entering the study, you will provide a waist measurement and a small amount of blood will be drawn only once and then yearly there will be a survey mailed or emailed to you and you will simply fill out the follow up surveys, she said.
The information is protected just like it is when you see your doctor, Salisbury said.
Through the years, you will simply provide updated information about your health, any changes in what you eat, drink or perhaps you started exercising, she said.
If you develop cancer, you would be asked to share that information with the American Cancer Society, she said.
Those who are interested in participating in the study can log onto www.cancerstudyOK.org/CPS3 and follow the links, Salisbury said.
Or others can call 1-888-604-5888.
Also, those interested in participating in the study and want to be part of helping to enroll others in the study, can email Salisbury at firstname.lastname@example.org.