Many of the Research News stories at Breastcancer.org look at health, lifestyle, and environmental factors that make breast cancer risk go up or down. These studies provide information on how to keep your risk as low as it can be. One of the best ways to study environmental factors is to collect personal and health histories from lots of people over a long period of time. Researchers then look for differences in environmental factors between people who are diagnosed with cancer and people who aren't. This is what the American Cancer Society (ACS) wants to do.
The ACS wants about a half million people, 30 to 65 years old who haven't been diagnosed with cancer, to enroll in the study. Researchers will collect information on their health, diet, exercise, and lifestyles over the next 20 years. Researchers want to find out if any of those factors are associated with the development of cancer in people who are diagnosed with cancer during the study.
The study will follow people for 20 years; this is a HUGE commitment for the participants. But the people who do volunteer should know that they may be helping scientists develop a much better understanding of factors associated with cancer. A similar study started in 1948, the Framingham Heart Study, helped doctors greatly increase their knowledge of the causes of heart disease. The Framingham Study also helped doctors create ways to lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
To learn more about this study, visit the ACS site information page.