Local sign-up starts for national cancer study - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Local sign-up starts for national cancer study

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All subjects had 36 ccs of blood drawn as part of the cancer prevention study. All subjects had 36 ccs of blood drawn as part of the cancer prevention study.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is the number one killer in Iowa, while Woodbury County has one of the highest cancer rates in the state. It's not just the Hawkeye State, but a worldwide problem.

That's why the ACS is recruiting more than 300,000 volunteers from across the country, including $1,000 from Sioux City.

Rhonda Meyers is very familiar with cancer.

"I do have some close friends that have cancer and have beat it, and I think that's fantastic. You know, I've been very blessed not to have a lot of cancer in my family. So, this is my way of helping them," said Meyers.

Meyers' grandmother also battled breast cancer, but was able to beat it. So Meyers is rolling back her sleeves to join a study for the American Cancer Society. It's a long term investment of time, but one she says will be worth it to save lives.

"Mostly, I just want to be able to help figure out what causes cancer and how we can stop it, and this was an easy way to do that," said Meyers.

"I'll do absolutely anything to fight cancer," said Dake. .

Others, such as Rachel Dake, say they've seen too many cases of cancer.

"Cancer is really prevalent in my family. My husband's a cancer survivor, my sister and other family members," said Dake.

Nearly 600 volunteers have already committed to this project, which includes a brief health survey, waist measurement and blood draw. That blood is quickly put on ice before getting sent out to researchers.

"We don't want them to break down too much. So, that's why we've preserved them on ice a couple hours, while they're here," said Pete Campbell of the American Cancer Society.

Organizers say these samples will remain frozen in a Kansas lab for the next five years. From there, it may be time to re-evaluate. By then, organizers say a lot of the subjects could have developed cancer.

"We know that the lifetime probability of getting cancer in about 1 in 2. So, about half of these people in this study will probably get cancer," said Campbell.

At that point, they'll begin to compare the blood samples to see the differences between those with cancer and those without.

"Then, we'll have enough statistical power to examine what factors in the blood might be associated with cancer. So, they might be differences at the genetic level, differences in hormones and inflammation, oxidated stress, and things like that," said Campbell.

And that's why folks like Meyers say the payoff is worth the effort.

"I'm going to be around, I'm hoping for the next 30 years. So, whether I do this survey, or don't do this survey, I'm going to be around, so why not donate some of my time every three years," said Meyers.

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