The Savannah American Cancer Society needs 300 adults in the Coastal Empire and SC Lowcountry areas to sign up for the Cancer Prevention Study-3.
The CPS-3 study is to better understand the lifestyle, behavioral, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer and to ultimately eliminate cancer as a major health problem for future generations.
After not having a history of breast cancer in her family, Kelly Erola learned she'd be the one to break that mold.
"You try to figure out, I'm a healthy person. I eat healthy, I exercise, I do all the things you're supposed to do and you say why me? What did I do wrong?" said Kelly Erola.
Now a breast cancer survivor, she'd like to assure her offspring it won't happen to them.
"I have a daughter who is 23 and she said mom am I going to get breast cancer and I can't answer her question because I don't know if she will," said Erola.
The American Cancer Society with the help of the Savannah chapter is trying to change the uncertainty with a cancer prevention study
The study is a long term commitment for those who are between 30 and 65 and have never been diagnosed with cancer.
Joy Kerkhoff is willing to make that pledge and fill out surveys about her lifestyle every couple of years.
"If I can do something that can stop from hearing the word you have cancer, I don't want to hear those words anymore. I don't want those to be said somewhere down the road and this is what I'm going to do to try and make that difference," said Kerkhoff.
Amy Riesinger, The Mission Delivery Director of the South Atlantic Division of the American Cancer Society, said the long term commitment of the cancer prevention study ranges from 20 to 30 years but you are only going to spend about eight hours total in that time frame filling out those surveys.
"This is actually probably one of the easiest ways for people to get involved there is no financial commitment," said Riesinger.
Erola said while it might take years to get the answers on how to achieve a cancer free way of life the surveys are one step towards that goal.
"It's long term studies that showed us that smoking leads to lung cancer and it wasn't until we did long term studies and followed people for a long time that we learned these things," said Erola.
You can learn how to sign up here: https://www.seeuthere.com/rsvp/invitation/invitation.asp?id=/m1c9c3bc-57GE02ZJOE6ED
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