Cancer study still looking for minority volunteers


POSTED: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 5:15pm

UPDATED: Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 10:20am

A new cancer study is setting out to better understand why some people get cancer and others don't. 50% of men will be diagnosed with cancer, compare that to 33% of women, but the story for African-Americans diagnosed with the disease is worse.

"If a minority is diagnosed with cancer they're more likely to die from cancer. And we want to know why," Becky Majdoch, with the American Cancer Society, said.

Enrollment for the September study is taking place now and requires participants to commit to completing surveys for twenty to thirty years. Doctors and researchers believe by studying patients for years they'll discover more clues as to why people get cancer.

"We think there's some behaviors that we have, some lifestyle issues as well as some genetics that pre-disposes various individuals, races, sexes to cancers," Dr. Donnie Batie, a physician responsible for bringing the study to Baton Rouge, explained.

With that in mind Nicole Jones said she signed on to the 20 year study, in an effort to make cancer’s causes more clear for her and her children.

"It's so upsetting to know that something like this, it really hits us so huge, and we're not taking care of ourselves, not being educated about what's going on when it comes to cancer."

The goal is to have between 850-1,000 volunteers from the Baton Rouge area to sign up, but organizers have their sights set still on those they're lacking.

"We need to encourage more men to enroll, and more African-Americans and minorities to be a part of this study. Because you can't study someone if they're not involved in the study. And those two groups tend to die of cancer more often right now," Majdoch explained.

If you do sign up you are required to take an in-person test that includes giving a blood sample, after that participants will be required to complete surveys every couple of years.

The break down of volunteers in the study thus far by gender is 74% Women and 26% Men. By race 84% of the volunteers are White, 3.5% African American, 8.5% Hispanic, and 4.4% have identified other.

For more information on how you can volunteer head to

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