UNION — How the American Cancer Society is local and its need for local volunteers for a generational study of the link between waist size and cancer were the subjects of an address by a society official Thursday afternoon.
Teri Donahoo, Community Manager for the American Cancer Society, was the featured speaker at Thursday’s meeting of the Union Community Input Forum. Donahoo said that even if it does not have a physical presence in the community, the American Cancer Society is nevertheless a local organization because there is “nothing more local than a cure” for cancer which is the goal of the organization. She said it provides a wide range of services that can be accessed by and benefit Union County residents.
“People don’t perceive the American Cancer Society as being local just because we don’t have a building here,” Donahoo said. “We do have programs and services available for cancer patients and their families. We can also help businesses if they have health and wellness events for their employees. A lot of companies are going tobacco free and we have services to help support those efforts.”
Donahoo said the tobacco cessation services provided the society include advocacy efforts to support tobacco free ordinances; user support services for individuals and companies; the Quit For Life and Fresh Start program; and nicotine replacement therapy resources.
Other services provided by the society include:
• Guidelines and health care professional education
ο Best Chance Network — breast and cervical screenings
ο “Get Your Test” — screening guidelines
ο Printed materials to support nutrition and physical activity guidelines
ο Support community events
• Programs and services for cancer patients and families
ο 1-800-227-2345 — toll free, 24 hours a day/seven days a week
Donahoo said callers always speak to a live person when they call. Those who call the number can speak to cancer information specialists; get referrals to community resources; phone counseling services; and get information mailed to their home at their request.
• The society’s website (www.cancer.org) was described by Donahoo as a “trusted source of information” that provides online support as well power point presentations for health and wellness events which can be downloaded and patient fact sheets.
• Research which the society supports in South Carolina through grants to the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
Cancer Prevention Study-3
That research also includes Cancer Prevention Study-3 which Donahoo urged Union County residents to participate in.
Cancer Prevention Study-3 is the latest in a series of generational studies the society has conducted since the 1950s. The information gathered by the first study helped researchers establish the link between smoking and cancer. The second study, which began in the 1980s, continued the society’s research into smoking and cancer including secondhand smoke. It also began to gather information on the role of other lifestyle factors in the increased risk of cancer.
In the third study, the society is seeking information on the link between waist size and the possible increased risk of several types of cancer including breast, colon and pancreatic cancers. Like it predecessors, Cancer Prevention Study-3 will collect health-related information from study participants over a 20-year period. The study will look at lifestyle factors including diet and exercise as well as environmental factors that may or may not increase the risk of developing cancer.
The society is seeking at least 111 volunteers between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never be diagnosed with cancer to participate in the study. Enrollment for the study will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Union County Relay For Life event on May 10 at the Union County Fairgrounds. Persons who enroll will each complete a short survey, have their waist measured, and give a small sample of blood. This will be their only direct contact with society personnel. After their initial enrollment, participants will periodically receive surveys from the society every two-to-three years which they will fill out and return.
For more information about Cancer Prevention Study-3, call Jane Bell-Russo, Cancer Prevention Study-3 Event Manager for South Carolina, at 1-803-530-7286.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.