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St. Louis To Participate In National Cancer Study

National Cancer Institute/Sriram Subramaniam

The American Cancer Society is launching a nationwide study to try to better understand the genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that contribute to causing cancer.

In St. Louis, the Siteman Cancer Center, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and a number of area businesses will work with the ACS to enroll participants. There are also enrollment locations in Springfield and Sikeston, Mo.

Washington University radiation oncologist Dr. Jeff Michalski says when participants enroll, they’ll be asked to fill out a questionnaire about their diet, physical activity, and other habits.

Michalski says they’ll also need to provide a blood sample.

“In the future, we hope that perhaps their blood might hold some keys to understanding the genetic basis of these diseases,” Michalski says.

After that, participants will fill out questionnaires at two-year intervals. Michalski says nationwide, the study will track about 300,000 people for at least 20 years.

“The hope is to have a very large group of individuals from all over the country that can represent our diverse backgrounds and help us understand just what unique things about both populations and individuals might be related to the development of cancer,” Michalski says.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 45 percent of men and 38 percent of women will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime.

Follow Véronique LaCapra on Twitter: @KWMUScience

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