American Cancer Society Recruits In Madison For New Longitudinal Study

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The American Cancer Society (ACS) wants to know more about how people live, as part of a long term population study. One of the first recruitment sites for Wisconsin volunteers was Madison.

The ACS wants to know more about what causes cancer: how genes, the environment and lifestyle make cells go rogue. To do this, the organization wants to follow 300,000 people across the United States for up to 30 years. One of recruitment sites was at the State Capitol, where Emily Reynolds had her waist measured, filled out an extensive health history and gave a blood sample.

At age 30, Reynolds just makes the lower age limit for the study which accepts participants up to age 65.

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“I don’t know when and if they’ll find a cure for cancer but the reason I really like this study is they’re looking at prevention and preventing people from getting cancer in the first place.”

The American Cancer Society did its first long-term population study in the 1950s. That was followed up by one in the 1970s.

That’s also when former President Richard Nixon increased government research with the National Cancer Act, described in the popular press as the “war on cancer.” Since that time, Michelle Moreau of the ACS says lifestyles have changed.

“People are more sedentary. They spend a lot more time in front of computers, their smart phones. There are just different types of environmental things go on now.”

ACS officials say they have learned quite a bit from past long-term studies. One of the most notable is the link between smoking and cancer.

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