There’s a moment — split seconds of my life, really — that I re-live in my head over and over again. Eight plus years later, the words — the moment — they’re as vivid as they were that very day.
“I have a brain tumor. It’s not as bad as it sounds.” It’s not as bad as it sounds. It’s not as bad as it sounds?
Honestly, I have no idea what I said or what he said after that. Though the rest of the conversation was a blur, the severity of the words coming across the phone line was crystal clear. Cancer. My dad had cancer.
No doubt my dad, who lost his own father to cancer at far too young an age, didn’t ever want his children to have to hear him say, “I have cancer.” And, now, as a mom, the very thought of uttering those words to my own kids — or worse, having to hear them say those words — it brings me to heart-wrenching tears just thinking about it.
My goodness, we’ve all been touched by cancer. Be it a beloved family member, a dear friend, a friend’s innocent child. The fight lives in all of us, and now there’s a really exciting way to help make more groundbreaking progress.
The American Cancer Society — the organization that has played a part in nearly every cancer research breakthrough in recent history — is looking for people to take part in their Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). This long-term study seeks to better understand the factors (lifestyle, environmental, genetic) that cause or prevent cancer, and ultimately help eliminate cancer as a major health concern for future generations. The next big ah-ha moment in cancer research could come from this study.
In the past, long-term studies by the American Cancer Society like this one have lead to over 500 scientific findings on cancer including demonstrating the link between smoking and lung cancer; the significant impact of being overweight or obese on cancer risk; the impact of hormones, physical activity, and diet on cancer risk; and the link between aspirin use and reduced risk of colon cancer.
How amazing would it be to say that you put mere hours of your time into helping the American Cancer Society finish the fight against a heartbreaking disease that has touched every one of us somehow? Please, join me in enrolling in CPS-3 so we can answer that question with pride and gratitude.
Involvement in CPS-3 includes:
- A short in-office visit where you’ll read and sign a consent form, complete a survey, provide some physical measurements, and give a small blood sample (about 20-30 minutes).
- A longer at-home questionnaire (about 45 minutes).
- Follow-up questionnaires (which could take as little as minutes, and no more than an hour) by mail every two years following (for at least 20 years).
- Participants must be between the ages of 30 and 65 years and have no personal history of cancer (not including basal or squamous cell skin cancer) to join.
- Annual newsletters with updates on the findings that come out of this study.
Enrolling in this study is one of the most important and impactful things you can do to help finish the fight against cancer. This once-in-a-generation opportunity — to be personally involved in research that will advance the American Cancer Society’s understanding of the lifestyle, behavioral, environmental, and genetic factors that cause cancer — could truly change the future for our children.
While this study is being done around the country, they’re currently recruiting in the Bay Area. Our diversity is not only an asset to those of us who love living here, it will also help the American Cancer Society to be more thorough in their research. After all, they can’t study a population that doesn’t enroll.
Click here for details on the Bay Area recruitment and in-office appointments:
- Alameda (July 20-August 3)
- Marin County (July 24-August 7)
- San Francisco (July 17-August 10)
- San Mateo (July 24-August 10)
- Santa Clara (July 13-August 10)
And if you’re not in the Bay Area, but are interested in learning more, check out the general study site by clicking here.
I’ll be doing my in-office visit in my dad’s memory and in honor of my children’s future on July 31st — about a week before what would have been my dad’s 65th birthday. I can’t tell you how empowered I felt clicking that “Enroll” link. In the amount of time it takes me to cuddle my kids through an episode or two of Austin & Ally, I’ll have given their generation a bit more hope. That’s time well spent.
Will you join me in enrolling? If you do, please share in the comments or send me a personal message…I’d love to know I’m in good company in this fight. And feel free to share if you’re doing it in memory or honor of someone special.
Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in learning and sharing about CPS-3 through Women Online/The Mission List. All opinions stated here are my own.