what you can do

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One of the most frustrating things about a cancer diagnosis is what you can’t do about it. You can have treatment and surgery, etc. but you can’t fully predict the results, nor can you make certain that the cancer won’t return or the treatment from the first cancer won’t increase the likelihood of a different type or cancer or illness in the future. You have to deal in the now and do it quickly. Without the diagnosis of a serious illness like cancer yourself, it’s easy not to think about it unless it’s touched someone you love or care about.

If you’ve dipped your toe into the cold pool of research or academia you know how difficult it is to fund and plan for a longitudinal study. The American Cancer Society is in the process of launching an exciting new study that will follow half a million men and women who have no personal cancer history for the next twenty years. The study is referred to as CPS-3. The goal is:

to better understand the lifestyle, behavioral, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer and to ultimately eliminate cancer as a major health problem for this and future generations.

Each one of my bevy of doctors has told me, “we have no idea why you have this.” My doctors are affiliated with such places as NIH, Johns Hopkins, and George Washington University. It is disconcerting at best to have such an amazing team of experts tell you that you’re an inexplicable anomaly. In my own personal life, I have two other friends under the age of 35 who have also been diagnosed with various forms of cancer that for all intents and purposes, they should not have.

If you fall into the age range of 30-65 and have no personal history of cancer and are interested in the study, you can contact them by phone (1-888-604-5888) or email (cps3@cancer.org) for more information.

Incidentally, I know I’ve mentioned it before but I still plan to participate in the Komen National Race for the Cure on Saturday June 2nd. If you’ve donated already, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support. If you’re considering making a donation, there’s still plenty of time. I’m still hoping to run, but the way I’m feeling now, I may be walking, but more importantly, I’ll be there.

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