BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Western New York is known around the world for playing a leading roll in the war on cancer.
Now residents have a new opportunity to join the fight against this devastating disease that affects countless lives. A new cancer prevention study is underway, and the American Cancer Society and several major partners in Western New York are looking for recruits.
Steve Finch of General Motors in Tonawanda said, "Many of our employees and their families have been affected by some form of cancer over the years. It makes perfect sense for us to join into this study with the American Cancer Society and encourage everyone to participate."
They hope to enroll 300,000 people nationwide. It will involve filling out an initial form, having some measurements taken, giving a blood sample, filling out a detailed form at home - and that's just the beginning.
Gretchen Leffler of the American Cancer Society said, "And then, over [their] lifetime - as many years as to come - they will be sent an updated questionnaire, [a] very short one every so many years."
The mountains of information they collect will be analyzed using modern informatics.
Dr. Andrei Gudkov of Roswell Park said, "Which eventually will allow us not only to understand, but also to predict who is going to be cancer prone and what kind of habits we should avoid or modify, what kind of medicine we should take preventively or avoid taking as a matter of risk."
Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein has already enrolled.
"We've made some great progress in understanding how to live a healthy lifestyle, but there's actually so much more that we need to understand how to prevent cancer," she said.
And County Executive Mark Poloncarz is predicating a great local response.
He noted, "We are a generous and giving community, so let's rally around this once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of something big and to save lives in the future."
To participate in the study, you need to be between 30 and 65 years old, never had cancer, and be willing to complete surveys for the next 20- to 30-years. The registration drive begins in June.
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