Centegra is First Health System in Illinois to Partner with American Cancer Society for Study

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Local residents called to participate in cancer prevention study.

This study will help researchers better understand the lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer.

McHenry County residents have an unprecedented opportunity to participate in a historic study that has the potential to change the face of cancer for future generations. Centegra Health System and the American Cancer Society are partnering to recruit men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer to participate in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3).

“I was the first to enroll,” said Amy Moerschbaecher, executive director of medicine and oncology services at Centegra Health System. “This study will help researchers better understand the lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer. Centegra is the first health system in Illinois to be invited to partner with the American Cancer Society for this study. We hope to recruit more than 600 participants in McHenry County. This is a perfect opportunity for those who really want to do something to help make a difference in the fight against cancer,” Moerschbaecher added.

To participate in the study, individuals must first go to http://www.seeuthere.com/cps3enroll/mchenryil to schedule an enrollment appointment. Limited appointment dates are available. They are:

  •     7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 3 at Centegra Hospital-Woodstock
  •     7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 4 at Centegra Hospital-McHenry

Participants will receive a confirmation email after scheduling the enrollment appointment. The email will instruct them to complete the first, most comprehensive survey. They will answer questions about medications, family history, lifestyle and other behaviors.

“We encourage participants to complete the survey at home prior to their enrollment appointment,” said Moerschbaecher. “All information is completely confidential to the study and will not be shared.”

At the appointment, participants will be asked to read and sign an informed consent form; have their waist circumference measured; and give a small blood sample. The appointment should last about 20 to 30 minutes. Upon completion of this process, the American Cancer Society will send periodic follow-up surveys to update their information and annual newsletters with study updates and results. Periodic follow-up surveys of various lengths will be sent to participants every few years.

“Many individuals diagnosed with cancer struggle with what caused it. In many cases, we don’t know,” said Alpa V. Patel, Ph.D., principal investigator of CPS-3. “The study will help us better understand what factors cause cancer, and once we know that, we can be better equipped to prevent cancer.” Patel added, “Our previous cancer prevention studies have been instrumental in helping us identify some of the major factors that can affect cancer risk. CPS-3 holds the best hope of identifying new and emerging cancer risks, and we can only do this if members of the community are willing to become involved.”

Researchers will use the data from CPS-3 to build on evidence from a series of American Cancer Society studies that began in the 1950s and have collectively involved millions of volunteer participants. According to the American Cancer Society, the Hammond-Horn Study and previous cancer prevention studies (CPS-I and CPS-II) have played a major role in understanding cancer prevention and risk and have contributed significantly to the scientific basis and development of public health guidelines and recommendations. Those studies confirmed the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, demonstrated the link between larger waist size and other causes for increased death rates from cancer, and showed the considerable impact of air pollution on heart and lung conditions.

The current study, CPS-II, began in 1982 and is currently ongoing. Changes in lifestyle and in the understanding of cancer in the more than two decades since it launched make it important to begin a new study. The voluntary, long-term commitment by participants is what will produce benefits for decades to come.

“Taking an hour or so every few years to fill out a survey, and potentially save someone from being diagnosed with cancer in the future, is a commitment that thousands of volunteer participants have already made. We're looking for more like-minded individuals in McHenry County to join this effort that we know will save lives and improve the outlook for future generations,” said Patel.

For more information or to learn how to become involved with CPS-3, visit cancer.org/cps3, email cps3(at)cancer(dot)org, or call toll-free 1-888-604-5888.

Centegra Hospital–McHenry is recognized as having one of a few cancer programs in the state to receive the Commission on Cancer (CoC) Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. Additionally, all the Centegra Sage Cancer Center nurses are oncology certified. Patients needing additional follow-up may be referred to Centegra’s conveniently located medical imaging departments for various state-of-the-art, diagnostic exams including ultrasounds, MRIs and PET/CTs.

Centegra Health System is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the residents of greater McHenry County and to making services available in multiple and convenient locations, including hospitals in McHenry and Woodstock, Immediate and Physician Care Centers, Centegra Sage Cancer Center, Health Bridge Fitness Centers and more. As the region’s leading healthcare provider, Centegra Health System continues to bring the latest treatments and technology, along with the skills of nearly 4,000 medical professionals, to meet the needs of the growing McHenry County community. For more information on Centegra Health System visit centegra.org, search Centegra Health System on Facebook and Twitter or call 877-CENTEGRA (877-236-8347).


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Kim Kubiak
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