Although asbestos-related diseases aren’t as common as breast cancer, prostate cancer or other high-profile malignancies, that doesn’t mean that lung cancer and mesothelioma are any less important to worry about. The fact that these conditions aren’t as common, but may be even deadlier, means that scientists need to do more research on them.
There are several areas of study that deserve further investigation, including disease prevention. At Mesothelioma Circle, we want to draw attention to the Cancer Prevention Study-3, or CPS-3. This nationwide grassroots effort, conducted with the support of the American Cancer Society, is collecting information from healthy individuals for the sake of learning more about malignant diseases: how they develop, how to stop them and how to treat them.
Questions still swirl around asbestos-related cancers
Asbestos is a nasty material that can wreak havoc all over the body. Malignant diseases caused by it have developed in the respiratory system, gastrointestinal system and other organs. The Environmental Working Group estimates that, every year, asbestos-related cancers claim the lives of about 8,500 individuals in the U.S. That’s 8,500 too many, and these numbers are expected to rise over the next 10 years.
Scientific research is clearly important. Thankfully, people all over the country seem to be doing their part. For example, the law firm of Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, which specializes in mesothelioma legal help, has supported several research projects. These included efforts to boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy, silence the genes associated with tumor development and control the proteins that allow cancer cells to thrive.
Both laboratory experiments, such as the ones supported by Kazan Law, and population-based studies, such as CPS-3, are essential to the fight against cancer.
‘For future generations’
In an effort to learn more about cancer, the scientists behind CPS-3 are looking for healthy individuals who never had cancer and are between the ages of 30 and 65. They want to ultimately recruit 300,000 subjects of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, 25 percent of whom should be minorities. Over the course of 20 years, researchers will collect data on participants’ waist size, weight, height, blood pressure, blood samples, heart rate and lifestyle factors.
The idea is that if individuals start to develop malignant diseases at any point during the two decades of the study, the scientists will be able to explore the links between their diseases and their health measurements over time. This may help researchers understand how cancer develops, and how to formulate more effective medicine.
“Ultimately CPS-3 hopes to eliminate cancer as a major health threat for future generations,” Frank Mascia, the executive VP of the American Cancer Society, told CBS.
The researchers will protect the confidentiality of all study participants and cover the costs of subjects’ involvement. Anyone who’s interested in volunteering for this study should visit the American Cancer Society’s official website.
Science cannot proceed without volunteers
Because the focus of this study is on cancer prevention, those who are currently ill or have fought a malignant disease in the past are ineligible. However, these patients can still support scientific research by volunteering for clinical trials. These studies are sometimes the only way that sick patients can get access to the latest innovations in medicine.
If you’re interested in volunteering for a clinical trial, talk to your physician. Experimental treatments sometimes carry the risk of side effects or not working at all. However, regardless of the outcome, your participation would be an invaluable help to scientists and, more importantly, future patients who have to fight the same disease that you have.