GREENCASTLE -- This year, Putnam County's Relay For Life was the site for people in the community and surrounding communities to have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fight back against cancer by enrolling in American Cancer Society's third Cancer Prevention Study or CPS-3.
CPS-3 will help give a better understanding of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer. It will also ultimately eliminate cancer as a major health concern.
For many of those who chose to become survey participants, it was in honor of loved ones lost to cancer or survivors of the disease. For others, it was about the future generations.
Greencastle residents Julie Dorsett and Bobbi Williams took time from Relay and signed-up for CPS-3. Julie lost her sister 10 years ago to cancer, and Bobbi's husband Rick is a cancer survivor. The women were doing the survey for them.
To become a participant in the survey, people filled out a small survey, had their waists measured, and phlebotomists drew seven tablespoons of blood. In about a week, they will receive a more comprehensive survey by mail, which they are to fill out and return. Surveys will follow by mail every two years.
The study will build on a history of ACS-sponsored follow-up studies, starting in the 1950s, which have provided invaluable insights into the causes of cancer and the steps people can take to prevent cancer.
The studies were the first to show the significant impact of obesity and the risk of dying from cancer and the link between aspirin use and lower risk of dying from cancer.
Saturday's enrollment process took four steps, and those signing up did not have to participate in Relay. One young couple chose to volunteer their time to help others become participants of CPS-3. Brandi Groves and her husband Nick of Danville originally did not meet the minimum age limit of 30 for the study.
"My husband was allowed, at the last minute, to participate even though he is 29," said Brandi.
In October 2008, Brandi learned her then five-year-old son Dylan had acute lymphoblastic leukemia. According to the ACS Web site, ALL is one form of leukemia, or cancer of the white blood cells. It is most common in childhood or young adulthood. The peak age for an ALL incidence is 4 to 5. The overall cure rate in children is 85 percent.
Dylan will be celebrating his seventh birthday in May. He is the reason Brandi and Nick are fighting back against cancer through CPS-3.