The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Large cancer study recruits volunteers

By Rhiannon Saegert/managing editor

More than 400 volunteers joined the American Cancer Society’s cancer prevention study during its recruitment at TCC.

Volunteers gave blood and filled out questionnaires upon joining the study.

South Campus student Rashida Ivey said her psychology instructor told her about the study.

“I thought, ‘Hey, cancer is prevalent in our society in America, and if I can do anything to cure it, destroy it, kill it, then I will,’” she said.

Because cancer can affect anyone, she felt obligated to volunteer.

“I won’t say it’s a civic duty, but it almost feels like it is,” she said. “At the very least, investigate it just to see what it’s about. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be a part of something bigger than you.”

TR student Katherine Sevilla saw the sign for the cancer study as she was leaving TR Campus and decided to volunteer because her family has a history of cancer.

“I figured because I don’t have cancer, maybe I could put something forward,” she said.

Sign-ups took place on all five campuses, but not all volunteers were affiliated with TCC. Magnus Rittby, who came to South Campus for the study, said he is volunteering in place of a friend who can’t.

“I have a friend who has cancer who posted a call on Facebook for his friends to participate in lieu of him not being able to,” he said.

“They [people] should read on the previous two studies and see how important they were to discovering environmental links to cancer,” Rittby said. “It’s their duty to the rest of the human population to participate if they can.”

Volunteers need to be between the ages of 30 and 65 and  have never been diagnosed with cancer.

The study involves completing surveys about their lives over the course of at least 20 years. The study will track trends among different groups of people based on their gender, race, environment, lifestyle and family history of cancer.

Communications manager Joy Donovan Brandon said the study aims to recruit 300,000 people nationwide.

“We’re looking for ethnic diversity, geographic diversity,” she said.

This is the American Cancer Society’s third major study. The first study, which began in the 1959 and ended in 1972, linked cancer with smoking cigarettes. The second study began in 1982 and is still in progress.

Brandon said NE Campus president Larry Darlage, an American Cancer Society of Fort Worth board member, came up with the idea of recruiting through TCC.

“He opened up the doors for us to use Tarrant County College campuses as our enrollment sites, and it’s been nothing but a pleasure to work with the staff at Tarrant County College,” she said.

She said TCC’s goal was initially to recruit 300 volunteers. When that goal was met, they aimed for 400.

“Some people have no-showed their appointments, but then we had walk-ins, so we’ve been most pleased,” Donovan said.

Recruitment for the study will continue until the end of the year, at which point the study will begin. 

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