PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 19, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- More than 200 volunteers joined the battle against cancer today when they enrolled in the American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) at an event championed by Independence Blue Cross (IBC) at its company headquarters. This event marked the first time a community enrollment activity took place at a company in a major metropolitan market and the largest CPS-3 enrollment event in the region.
"We have the opportunity today – right here and now – to change how cancer impacts our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren, and all future generations of our families," said Daniel J. Hilferty, IBC president and CEO. "CPS-3 is both significant and groundbreaking in that it will help researchers, scientists, doctors, and nurses learn more about causes, treatments, and cures for cancer. And as a company whose mission it is to enhance the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve, building a healthier society is a critical component of what we stand for."
Hilferty, along with Saint Joseph's University Head Basketball Coach Phil Martelli, enrolled in the study and hopes his participation will encourage others to follow. Martelli is one of six city coaches actively involved in the Coaches vs. Cancer of Philadelphia program, which has raised nearly $8 million to fight the disease since the program's inception in 1996.
"Raising money for cancer research is very important and we are grateful to all those who contribute, but taking the time and effort to participate in a long-term study as these volunteers are doing today is a really special gesture. For many people, the idea that spending an hour today and an hour or so every few years can contribute to a cure for cancer is a powerful incentive to get involved," Martelli said.
The effort in the Philadelphia region is part of a national campaign by the American Cancer Society to recruit for the study 300,000 men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer. The goal for the Philadelphia region is 1,300 participants. IBC and the American Cancer Society teamed up for an initial recruitment at the Blue Cross Broad Street Run in May.
Individuals who enroll provide a waist measurement, give a small blood sample, and complete a comprehensive survey. Over the course of the study, participants will be asked to fill out confidential follow-up surveys every few years. The study will help researchers better understand the genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer.
"Despite the great progress we have made in learning ways to prevent and cure certain kinds of cancer, we are still searching for the factors that cause cancer," said Dr. Carmen Guerra, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, representing the American Cancer Society at the event. "Previous Cancer Prevention Studies have helped us identify cancer risks; CPS-3 gives us the best opportunity to continue that trend. That is why we are so grateful to those who enrolled today and urge others in the Delaware Valley to do the same."
The next opportunity for individuals to enroll is tomorrow, October 20, 2012, at the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk at Memorial Hall from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Those participating can enroll on-site before or after the walk, which starts at 8 a.m.
CPS-3 is the third such national study conducted by the American Cancer Society. The first two studies, which began in the 1950's, have played a major role in the fight against cancer, identifying:
- The link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer;
- The significant impact of being overweight or obese on the risk of cancer occurrence and death;
- The impact of hormones, physical activity, diet, various medications and vitamins, and various other factors in relation to cancer risk;
- The impact of air pollution on cardiopulmonary conditions motivating the Environmental Protection Agency to propose more stringent limits on particulate air pollution;
- The link between aspirin use and reduced risk of colon cancer;
- The link between postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy and various gynecologic cancers (such as breast and ovarian cancer);
- The link between diabetes and cancers of the pancreas and colon; and
- The link between physical activity and lower risk of various cancers (including breast, colon, and aggressive prostate cancer.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we have 3.1 million members nationwide. For nearly 75 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we're changing the game, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation's largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.8 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
CONTACT: Anthony Bonagura American Cancer Society (O) 215-985-5344 (M) 609-707-5877 firstname.lastname@example.org Ruth Stoolman Independence Blue Cross (O): 215-241-4807 (M): 215-280-3335 email@example.com Kirk Dorn Ceisler Media & Issue (O): 215-735-6760 (M): 215-704-3653 firstname.lastname@example.org Jamie Gold American Cancer Society Breast Cancer 5K Walk (O) 717-917-7114 Jamie.Gold@cancer.orgSource:Independence Blue Cross