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Looking for commitment

Area residents invited to enroll in national cancer prevention study at relay site Friday

June 16, 2010
By JANICE R. KIASKI, Staff writer

STEUBENVILLE - Barb Wilinski is looking for Tri-State Area residents willing to make a commitment of a little time to hopefully make a big difference in the fight against cancer.

Her request is for area residents between the ages of 30 and 65 who have no personal history of cancer, not including basal or squamous cell skin cancer, to enroll in the American Cancer Society's latest research study called the Cancer Prevention Study-3 or CPS-3 for short.

The enrolling will occur from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in a big tent Friday set up at the site of the 16th-annual Steubenville Area Relay for Life sponsored by the Jefferson County Unit of the ACS. The relay is held at the Robert Kettlewell Memorial Stadium on the campus of Indian Creek High School.

"It's a big honor that we were chosen to host this," said Wilinski, chair of the local study site that's part of a broader picture. It's part of an ongoing long-term study that overall seeks 500,000 people of various backgrounds throughout the United States. Its purpose is to learn if the environment, heredity or lifestyles factors increase a person's chance of developing cancer.

The local relay site is one of 12 Relay for Life sites across Ohio that will process enrollees and one of three in the Northeast Ohio Region where participants can register.

"They're hoping to find a cure out of this," said Wilinski, who noted the enrolling process Friday evening will be facilitated by students of the Trinity Health System School of Nursing and volunteer Mim Santilli.

Wilinski said the local goal is to sign up 164 to 180 enrollees during the four-hour period Friday who will fill out a brief questionnaire, have seven teaspoons of blood drawn and their waist measured.

Registrants don't have to be participants in the relay to enroll.

"When they go through that night, they're going to have to take a survey home and return it," Wilinski added.

Beyond that, enrollees would do at-home periodic surveys.

"It's a 20-year commitment that would include surveys every couple years," Wilinski said, noting the time commitment basically boils down to about 30 minutes' processing time through the tent Friday, about 60 minutes at home for the initial baseline survey and then about 45 minutes on an at-home survey every two years.

All information and data collected is confidential.

"I'm very positive," Wilinski said of the anticipated participation. "I've talked to every civic organization that there is and talked all over the town to let them (people) know how important this study is."

Wilinski emphasized there is no pre-registration involved, just show up. "We need commitment," she said.

This marks the third such long-term study conducted by the ACS, which will help researchers better understand the genetic, environmental and other factors that may cause or prevent cancer, according to Wilinski.

Previous studies have demonstrated the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer and the impact of being overweight or obese regarding the risk of cancer occurrence and death.

Anyone with questions about the enrollment or study can contact Wilinski at (740) 282-2161.

(Kiaski can be contacted at

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