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UTAHNS CAN TAKE PART IN LARGE-SCALE CANCER STUDY

SHARE UTAHNS CAN TAKE PART IN LARGE-SCALE CANCER STUDY

Researchers are looking for 75,000 men and women between 55 and 74 to help them determine whether testing to detect some of the most common forms of cancer can help reduce deaths from these diseases.

It is all part of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO). This study, the largest-ever U.S. cancer-screening trial, will include a total of 148,000 older people in 10 cities: Denver; Honolulu; Detroit; Minneapolis; St. Louis; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; Washington, D.C.; Brooklyn, N.Y., and Marshfield, Wis."Almost 80 percent of cancers occur in people who are age 55 and older," said John Gohagan, chief of the National Cancer Institute's Early Detection Branch and project officer for the study, which started in November 1993. "We recently lowered the age of participation in the study to include those already at risk."

Doctors know that they can detect cancers earlier and earlier using new diagnostic screens. They already know that some tests, such as the cervical Pap smear, which is recommended annually for women, reduces quite dramatically the number of cervical cancer deaths.

What they don't know is whether earlier treatment can save lives or reduce the chance of dying from various other forms of the disease. That's what the large-scale screening trial is about.

The tests being studied include:

- The digital rectal exam and a blood antigen test, both used to catch prostate cancer.

- The chest X-ray, used to detect lung cancer.

- The sigmoidoscope examination, which tries to detect colon cancer by using a lighted instrument.

- A blood test called CA125 and a transvaginal ultrasound to predict ovarian cancer.

Participants are examined regularly and followed for at least 10 years. People interested in participating should contact the center nearest them. For locations, call NCI's Cancer Information Service at (800) 4-CANCER.