Research for life
by Holly Tsang
May 25, 2010 | 1551 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Whether you’re a veteran walker or a first-timer, consider participating in Relay For Life at Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village this year. If the fun-filled activities and Olympic-themed dress code aren’t enough to sway you, consider this: Juniper Park is the only site in New York City where you can enroll in the American Cancer Society’s third Cancer Prevention Study (CPS-3).

CPS-3 is a continuation of the first two studies, which found links between cigarette smoking and lung cancer in addition to being the first to show the impact of obesity on the risk of dying from cancer. The purpose of CPS-3 is to examine links to cancer.

Leslie Orlovsky, American Cancer Society’s director of Special Events, estimated that there are 9,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients every year in Queens alone.

“This is an opportunity for people to be part of life-saving research that will help prevent cancer for this and future generations,” said Orlovsky.

CPS-3 is searching for 500,000 individuals across the country who are of diverse backgrounds, aged 30 to 65 and who have never had cancer. If you develop cancer, you can still be part of the study, but you should only sign up if you’re willing to make a long term commitment. Researchers will intermittently mail surveys that ask about your lifestyle, behavior and health-related issues.

“You’re talking 45 minutes of your life every two to four years so doctors can study the links to cancer,” said Orlovsky. “It’s one of the easiest ways to fight back.”

Orlovsky said she plans on enrolling in the study herself the first chance she gets.

“My reason for enrolling in this study,” she said, “is so my five-year-old son never has to hear the words ‘you have cancer’ and so that he never has to lose someone to this disease.”

Individuals who wish to enroll in CPS-3 can do so during Relay For Life at Juniper Valley Park on June 26, from 5 to 9 p.m.

The actual Relay takes place from June 26, 4 p.m., to June 27, 8 a.m. Yes, it’s a 12-hour, all-night walk around a track, but for good reason.

“Cancer never sleeps, so for one night in this community, neither do we,” said Orlovsky.

Teams can be any size, but there is a $10 commitment fee for each person. It’s free for cancer survivors, who are invited to participate in the survivor’s lap and attend the luminaria ceremony, a brilliant display of candles in white paper sacks that bear the names of individuals living with cancer or who have passed away from cancer.

“We celebrate those who have cancer, remember those we lost and fight back against a disease that takes too much,” said Orlovsky.

To get more information about CPS-3, to participate in Relay For Life 2010 in Juniper Valley Park, to make a donation or to sponsor a luminaria, please visit www.relayforlife.org/middlevillageny or call Orlovsky at 718-261-1092 x5526.

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