Wednesday afternoon marked the kickoff for one of the most important events of the year, the Cancer Prevention Study 3, in Butte County. "This research could really make a difference. We can discover ways to prevent cancer. It's the number one killer in Butte County right now, and it would be great to make an impact," according to Dr. Mark Lundberg from the Butte County Department of Public Health.
Health experts and concerned citizens gathered at the Butte County Department of Public Health to hear about how they can help, straight from cancer survivors, like John Hantelman. "We're doing research on things we don't know for sure, and finding out about those things will give other scientists a lot of information about directions they can use in looking for places where they can find cures." His wife Ruth, a fellow cancer survivor, addressed the crowd as well. "Any time you can prevent rather than say, now what are we going to do, it's going to be more economical, but it's going to be just more life saving."
The goal for the American Cancer Society is to get 300,000 diverse and cancer free people between the ages of 30, and 65 to participate nationwide. Locally, the goal is 500 participants in Butte County, and American Cancer Society Representative Cindy Bahl says the process is simple. "we take a little blood sample, a waste measurement, and a questionnaire is answered at that time."
Following the initial visit, participants will be sent an annual survey to update their information for the next 20 years, and John Hantelman says that information could lead to breakthroughs, like that of Cancer Prevention Study 1. "The Cancer Prevention Study number one studied 155,000 people, and they came up with the links between smoking and lung cancer." And with almost double the participants in Cancer Prevention Study 3, only time will tell what this study will uncover.