Maumelle has been chosen as one of the sites in central Arkansas to be a part of a major national cancer research project.

The project will study cancer for at least three decades, and the American Cancer Society will be searching for volunteers to take part in the research.

Maumelle attorney JaNan Davis has been chosen by the society to chair the efforts in Maumelle.

"Over the last few years of my being involved with Relay for Life of Maumelle, I have been startled at how many people in our community have been directly affected by a cancer diagnosis — either their own or someone they are close to," Davis said. "Cancer does not discriminate. It has taken sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, and precious friends. Relay for Life focuses on raising funds to help in the fight against this awful villain, but now we are working to help gather information to fight against cancer. I am so excited to be working as a community champion to help the American Cancer Society recruit volunteers to participate in a study that will help us to fight cancer and celebrate more birthdays."

As the study leader in Maumelle, Davis will be seeking volunteers to participate.

Anyone who has had cancer is automatically excluded from participating.

For the first time ever, the American Cancer Society will take blood samples and waist measurements.

Jamie Byrne, who is heading up the statewide effort, said researchers will track several factors and relate them to cancer diagnosis, including tracking the evolution of changes in obesity, nutrition, activity like smoking and their impact on morbidity and mortality.

It also will identify new risk factors for cancer due to environmental changes, lifestyle changes, medications and new technologies.

"The Cancer Prevention Study -3, known as ‘CPS-3’ is a long term follow up study which will require only that the participant return periodic questionnaires after the initial sign up," Davis said. "CPS-3 will build on a proud history of American Cancer Society-sponsored follow-up studies, starting in the 1950s, which have provided invaluable insights into the causes of cancer and the steps people can take to prevent cancer. We already have almost 200 volunteers who have registered to participate. That puts us well on our way to our goal of 944 people participating in CPS-3 in Central Arkansas."

Seven locations for enrollment are in Central Arkansas, one of which will be in Maumelle in the Family Life Center of the United Methodist Church of Maumelle, 1201 Edgewood Drive. Sign-up there will be from 8 a.m.-noon Aug. 11.

To be eligible to enroll in CPS-3, men and women should:

• Be between 30 and 65 years old;

• Have no personal history of cancer, not including basal or squamous cell skin cancer;

• Be willing to make a long-term commitment to the study which simply involves completing periodic follow-up questionnaires;

• Give a small sample of blood drawn by a trained, certified phlebotomist.

The goal of CPS-3 is to better understand ways to prevent cancer, Davis said.

Once a person has cancer, the body has been affected by the disease, treatment, and/or lifestyle changes as a result of the diagnosis. For this reason, the society encourages individuals without a history of cancer to enroll.

For more information, go to www.cancer.org/cps3.

To enroll in one of the seven available locations in central Arkansas being offered Aug. 8-11, go to www.cps3centralarkansas.org.

There a study volunteer can provide basic information and set an appointment for enrollment at one of the locations.

"Please join me in this powerful movement for more birthdays and fight back against cancer by enrolling in CPS-3, and assisting with getting others involved from your church or worksite, and/or volunteering the day of the event," Davis said. "We are also seeking cancer survivors, caregivers, or those who are interested in honoring a friend or loved one who has battled cancer, to serve as volunteers. Even if you cannot participate in the study itself, as a volunteer, you too will be making a difference by supporting this once-in-a-generation, historic research study. Anyone interested can contact me by email at jdavis@maumelle.org."