Cancer study seeks participants

By Rick White: Freedom New Mexico

Penny Bailey is willing to do whatever she can to find a cure for cancer.

President of the Cannon Spouses Club, Bailey lost her grandmother to cancer about 15 years ago and doesn’t want her children to experience the pain of losing a loved one like she did.

Bailey plans to participate in a long-term American Cancer Society study that looks at genetics, race, age, gender and lifestyle and compares that data to develop a better understanding of cancer.

“Everybody knows somebody who’s had (cancer), survived it or succumbed to it,” Bailey said.

“I want to be able to tell my kids I did everything I could to help.”

The American Cancer Society is looking for 300 to 400 volunteers in the Clovis area to participate in the study, called CPS-3. Signup will be at the Curry County Relay for Life on May 2 at Ned Houk Park.

The nationwide study of 500,000 people is the third of its kind since 1959, according to officials.

“The first two that they’ve done have pretty much told us what we know today about cancer,” said Sheryll Plyler, director of the cancer center at Plains Regional Medical Center and volunteer coordinator for the American Cancer Society’s cancer prevention study. “This is our opportunity to change things for the generations to come and most definitely for our kids and our grandkids.”

The American Cancer Society estimated more than 1.4 million people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer and more than 559,000 people will die of the disease in 2007.

“The statistics are that half of all men will get cancer in their lifetime and a third of all women,” Plyler said. “That’s a lot of people.”

Clovis was selected by the ACS to participate in the study because of a history of strong relay support.

“The main thing that brought them here is our Relay for Life raised over $100,000 for cancer research and education and that got our relay national recognition,” Plyler said. “When they see that the community supports those types of events, they see that they have a good chance of success for enrollment in the study.”

Dorothy Nelson, regional events coordinator for the American Cancer Society, is excited that the Clovis Relay for Life event was chosen as a signup site for the study.

“It’s a really good relay,” said Nelson, who is a cancer survivor. “It attracts people from all over the area.”

What: CPS-3 study signup

When: 5:30-9:30 p.m. May 2

Where: Clovis Relay for Life, Ned Houk Park

About the study: The American Cancer Society is looking for 300-400 volunteers between the ages of 30 to 65 who have no personal history of cancer for a long-term study.

You will be asked to:

• Complete a brief written survey

• Provide a waist measurement

• Give a small blood sample

• Give a more-detailed survey to be completed at home

• Participate in followup phone surveys