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All ethnicities sought for study

— Volunteers of all ethnic backgrounds are sought for a multi-year cancer prevention study being done by the American Cancer Society.

Sign-ups are Oct. 22 in Omak and Oct. 26 in Twisp.

The study is only the third ever conducted by the society.

Men and women ages 30-65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer can participate, local society volunteer Phylicia Hancock-Lewis said.

One-day kickoff events are set for 3-6:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Omak Clinic, 916 Koala Drive, and 9-11:30 a.m. Oct. 26 at Aero Methow Rescue Service, 1005 state Highway 20, Twisp. There is no charge.

Okanogan County, Wenatchee and Spokane are the chosen areas of Eastern Washington for the study.

“It really is pretty special” for Okanogan County to be included, volunteer T. Lewis said.

The study, with a goal of 300,000 enrollees nationwide, will look at lifestyle, behavioral, environmental and genetic factors, an American Cancer Society informational video said.

Participants can pre-register and fill out a questionnaire, or they can sign up during the two local registration times. During the event, they’ll have a waist measurement taken and give a blood sample, the video said. Two videos about the Cancer Prevention Study 3 — or CPS-3 — are on YouTube.

The survey asks about medications, family history of cancer, lifestyle and other behaviors. The process will take 20-30 minutes.

The study is scheduled to run for 20 years, with participants being contacted periodically for information updates, Hancock-Lewis said. The study will look at lifestyle and genetics as factors.

While anyone can sign up for the study, Hancock-Lewis said researchers especially encourage native and Hispanic people to participate.

The area’s diversity makes it great for being included in the study, she said. Along with the ethnic diversity, people in the area probably tend to eat more game meats and locally grown produce than those in other areas.

“I think there will be amazing things come out of this” study, she said.

As of late last week, about 50 people had signed up for the Omak event.

The society’s first study, conducted in the 1950s, made the link between tobacco and cancer. The second study, in the 1980s, looked at obesity and lifestyle as factors.

So far, more than 55,000 people have enrolled in the newest study.

Study participants will get newsletters with updates on research in Cancer Prevention Studies. Personal information will be kept confidential, the society said.

A 2012 state Department of Health chronic disease profile for Okanogan County indicates 28 percent of women age 40 and older haven’t been screened for breast cancer and 29 percent of women age 18 and older have not been screened for cervical cancer. The statewide averages are 24 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

Nearly 40 percent of men and women age 50 and older have not been screened for colorectal cancer, higher than the state average of 32 percent.

The same profile indicates 75 percent of the county’s adults don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, a third don’t get enough physical activity, almost 25 percent smoke cigarettes and one in nine adults is exposed to second-hand smoke in the home.

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