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American Cancer Society Encourages Californians to Help Finish the Fight

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During March's Colon Cancer Awareness Month Enroll in Historic Cancer Prevention Study to Make a Difference in the Fight

March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. As the American Cancer Society celebrates its 100th birthday this year, it is emphasizing the importance of age-appropriate colorectal cancer screenings and asking Californians to help defeat the disease by enrolling in a historic research study. An estimated 5,135 Californians will die from colorectal cancer (commonly called colon cancer) in 2013, accounting for nine percent of all cancer deaths.

The Society recommends Californians reduce their risk of developing the disease by maintaining a healthy weight, getting plenty of physical activity, and eating a diet high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and low in red and processed meats. Limiting alcohol intake can also reduce colon cancer risk. For information about colon cancer screening and nutrition and physical activity recommendations visit cancer.org/coloncancer.

Colon cancer is highly treatable if found early. Half of all colon cancer deaths in the United States could be prevented if everyone followed recommended screening guidelines. Most people should begin screening at age 50, and those with a family history are at higher risk and may need to be screened earlier.

Colon cancer death rates have dropped by more than 30 percent over the past two decades thanks in part to progress made by the American Cancer Society. The Society works with community partners to provide education and access to colon cancer screening in areas hardest hit by the disease. Society-funded research has led to improved understanding about the link between diet and colorectal cancer, and the development of drugs to treat colorectal cancer.

This spring, the Society is offering an unprecedented opportunity for Californians to change the face of colon cancer and all cancers for future generations by participating in a historic long-term study. 300,000 diverse men and women ages 30 to 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer are needed to enroll in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3).

“Many cancer patients struggle to answer the question, ‘What caused my cancer?’ In many cases, we don’t know the answer,” said Alpa V. Patel, Ph.D., principal investigator of CPS-3. “CPS-3 will help us better understand what factors cause cancer, and once we know that, we can be better equipped to prevent cancer.”

Dr. Patel added, “Our previous cancer prevention studies have been instrumental in helping us identify some of the major factors that can affect cancer risk. CPS-3 holds the best hope of identifying new and emerging cancer risks, and we can only do this if members of the community are willing to become involved.”

The opportunity for Californians to enroll in CPS-3 will take place at the below local sites:

• In Palm Springs and Palm Desert from May 7-16; visit www.cps3palmsprings.org to register.
• In San Diego County at ten locations from March 10-23; visit www.cps3sandiego.org to register.
• In Los Angeles County at dozens of locations from April 18-May 9; visit www.cps3la.org to register.

For more information about CPS-3 visit cancer.org/cps3 or call the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 Information Line at (888) 604-5888; or (800) 227-2345.

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