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Volunteers join cancer prevention study
Cancer WEB 1
Linda Lang, right, takes information from Lori Hubbard for the nationwide Cancer Prevention Study on Tuesday at the Forsyth County Family YMCA. Participants across the nation are joining in the third such large survey held by the American Cancer Society since the 1950s. - photo by Crystal Ledford

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For more information about the American Cancer Society’s cancer prevention study, visit A list of all metro Atlanta sign-up events can be found at

A classroom at the Forsyth County Family YMCA was turned into a mini medical lab this week.

Nurses were on hand Tuesday and Wednesday to draw blood samples from the many people who signed up to participate in the third nationwide Cancer Prevention Study, or CPS-3, by the American Cancer Society.

Local Relay for Life volunteers also helped those who registered to take part in the large-scale study with the required waist measurements and paperwork.

The event was part of a partnership between metro Atlanta YMCA facilities and the American Cancer Society to encourage as many people as possible to take part in the CPS-3, which will track participants for about 30 years in hopes of discovering more causes of cancer.

The first two Cancer Prevention Studies, which began in the 1950s and 1980s, found links between smoking and obesity, respectively.

Amy Richardson, American Cancer Society community manager for Forsyth and Dawson counties, was pleased with the turnout on Tuesday.

Shortly before noon, when that day’s sign-ups were scheduled to end, she said about 65 of the 100 who had registered online had come out.

“It’s been going very well,” Richardson said. “We’re part of the metro Atlanta enrollment and right now that enrollment is the largest in the country so we’re very excited and very proud of that.”

Many of those who signed up for the study said it was an easy way to help fight the disease in memory of someone they had lost to cancer.

Linda Moore said she wanted to take part as a way to honor her brother, Lee Meyers.

“He lived in Seattle and I took care of him until the bitter end a couple of years ago,” Moore said.

Similarly, Charity Boulton said she wanted to honor her mother, Diane Quattlebaum.

“My mom died of lung cancer last year after a 21-year battle,” Boulton said. “I felt like it’s all of our duty to try to figure out a cure for cancer because it’s something that impacts all of us.”

While the local YMCA event ended Wednesday evening, Richardson said there are still other sign-ups being held at different locations throughout the metro Atlanta area and other parts of the country.

“What we’ve really been encouraging people to do is to talk to their friends and family who don’t live around here because, if they do live around here that’s great, but don’t think that if you have family who live in Maine that there’s no opportunity for them too,” Richardson said.

Nationwide, the society hopes to recruit about 300,000 people for the study.

Richardson said everyone who’s signed up just seems excited to be making a difference.

“We’re doing this for the next generation and we’re going to see what our legacy holds for them,” she said.