Erath County residents will have a rare and unique opportunity to participate in cancer research.

The American Cancer Society will be looking for 400-500 community members to sign up as volunteers for the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) at the Erath County Relay for Life on Friday, May 18 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Stephenville City Park.

Nationwide the enrollment for the study is expected to reach a half million people and will help researchers understand environmental, lifestyle and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer in order to eradicate cancer as a major health concern for future generations.

Candidates for the study must be between 30 and 65 years old, be willing to make a long term commitment to the study and must never have been diagnosed with cancer.

Each individual will be asked to fill out a short survey, give a waist measurement and a blood sample at the enrollment site. The enrollment process is expected to take 20-30 minutes. In the future, for approximately 20 years, surveys will be sent to the individual’s home for information on health.

“It is not an exaggeration to say the American Cancer Society is the only organization likely to be able to successfully recruit and retain such a large-scale population for cancer research,” said Eugenia E. Calle, Ph.D., American Cancer Society director of analytic epidemiology, who is overseeing the study. “We have an excellent record dating back to the 1950’s of conducting these types of studies; we can bring together a world-class research department with a unique community-based volunteer structure like Relay For Life; we can reach diverse populations nationwide who have a shared commitment to cancer research and to eliminating this disease; and because we are a non-profit organization with the ability to partner with volunteers, we can conduct the study for much less than would be possible for the government or a private corporation.”

The Erath County Relay For Life will be one of 64 sites around the country where individuals can enroll in the new study, and will be the only time CPS-3 will be enrolling in Erath County this year.

“While science can do a lot to explain the biology and genetics of cancer, some of the most valuable information we have is a direct result of the contributions of dedicated individuals over several generations,” said Dr. Calle. “We are once again looking to the dedication, compassion, and generosity of Americans to come through and help us provide answers that we know will save lives and improve the outlook for future generations.”

For more information or to learn how to become involved with CPS-3, visit www.cancer.org/cps3, email cps3@cancer org, or call toll-free 1-888-604-5888 or call Julie Swink at (254) 965-8403 or Christi James at (254) 965-7835.