Major cancer study begins in Fort Smith

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 91 views 

The Cancer Prevention Study 3 (CPS-3), presented by the American Cancer Society (ACS), is coming to the Fort Smith Region.

A deeply involved 20-30-year long continuation of two previous studies, which found links between smoking and cancer (in the 1950's) and obesity and cancer (in the 1970's), CPS-3 will host open enrollment at the Hennessy Room of St. Edward's Mercy Medical Center on July 19 and 20.

Enrollment will run through the end of 2013, according to ACS Health Initiatives Representative Rhonda Bramell.

"This is a prevention study, and we will be looking at healthy people over the course of the next 20-30 years. What we'll be doing is monitoring habits, asking participants to answer some questions, and looking at who gets diagnosed with cancer over the study period to see what risk factors were present," Bramell said.

The nationwide study will include more than 300,000 participants. Bramell is hoping to secure 16,000 applicants in the mid-south area, which includes the entire state of Arkansas. "We're hoping to get as many as we can. We ask people to commit to 20-30 years of being enrolled, and every two years participants get a questionnaire in the mail, which is very detailed about their lifestyle," Bramell explained.

To qualify for the study, an applicant must be between the ages of 30 and 65, and they must not have been diagnosed with cancer.

"What is pretty cool is that we've typically done these CPS enrollments at our Relay for Life events, but this enrollment will be the first one in Fort Smith and the entire state done independently. It's referred to as an Open Community Event, and the whole process is you go to our website, which just went live at From there, you actually make an appointment through the website, and choose a time you want to show up on those two days (July 19 and 20)," Bramell said.

At the appointment date, the participant "does paperwork and gives blood samples," Bramell said. Since the study will actually provide the laboratory, applicants will get to go in at their appointment time and will not have to compete with general hospital scheduling.

The entire process, according to Bramell, will take "about 20 minutes."