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Editorial: Region could have part in next stage of war on cancer

March 23, 2012
The Alpena News

Do you really want to make a difference in the world?

Area residents can do just that by volunteering for an important national cancer study that, when its findings were first published in the 1950s, forever changed the way Americans viewed the illness.

The newest phase of the study continues that record-breaking groundwork and will build new layers and write new chapters in our understanding of this devastating disease.

Specifically, Northeast Michigan residents who participate will help scientists see how lifestyle, environment and genetics play a role in either the cause, or prevention, of cancer.

Bill Morford, who was instrumental in including our region in this historic study, said recently in a newspaper story "this is a way to fight back against cancer."

Who wouldn't want to put on the boxing gloves to accomplish that?

Alpena was selected in the national study because of its small size, helping to give geographical diversity to the overall findings.

Make no mistake, participation in the study isn't for wimps.

Participants will be expected to participate in surveys, occasional health screens and need to commit to making themselves available for at least the next 20 years.

However, those who do will do so knowing they are contributing to findings that could eventually lead to finding a cure.

"With the results of the study, maybe then one day our children and grandchildren won't have to hear about loved ones getting cancer," Morford said.

That would be a day of celebration.



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