Updated: 03/29/2013 6:33 AM KSTP.com By: Scott Theisen
Minnesotans are being asked by the American Cancer Society to do something very simple: help improve the health of the next generation.
One appointment and some paperwork, and you could help save lives decades down the road.
It's called the Cancer Prevention Study-3 or CPS-3. It's the largest cancer prevention study of its kind in the nation.
Why is it such a big deal? Consider this: Cancer Prevention Study-1, which began in 1959, unlocked the link between smoking and cancer.
The American Cancer Society will be enrolling 300,000 people across the country by the end of the year, including 5,000 in Minnesota.
On Wednesday, Dr. Alpa Patel trained the staff that will be leading enrollments in Minnesota. They will be the eyes and ears that will help people take part in this study.
"We will follow the population for at least the next 20 to 30 years, which I know sounds daunting, but it's actually not that much of a time commitment," Patel said.
The appointment only takes about 20 to 30 minutes and then every two to three years participants will fill out a survey at home.
They're looking for healthy people between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer. Anyone matching those requirements can sign up.
They will draw your blood, do some physical measurements and ask about your lifestyle, behaviors, family and medical history.
There are 21 locations around the Twin Cities where you can enroll. A list of Minnesota enrollment sites is available here.
Some key findings come from studies just like this one: Previous studies discovered aspirin use can lower the risk of colon cancer. Studies also proved the impact of air pollution on heart and lung conditions, which prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to toughen air pollution guidelines.