'Once in a lifetime' cancer study taking place in Tyler - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

'Once in a lifetime' cancer study taking place in Tyler

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Some East Texans made history today and there is still a chance for you to do the same.

The American Cancer Society is holding a cancer prevention study in 13 Texas cities and Tyler is one of them. Only the third study of its kind, scientists say being involved is a once in a lifetime opportunity, especially since the study is only done once each generation. The studies are happening right now all across The United States, with hopes of reaching 300,000 participants nationwide.

Twenty to thirty years is the estimated time Tina Smith will be monitored by researchers.

“I saw this little blurb about participating in The American Cancer Society research study and so I thought that would be pretty neat to be a part of,” said Smith.

Nearly 100 other East Texans thought so as well and turned out at East Texas Medical Center in Tyler on Tuesday morning. The goal is to have 400 participants in the Tyler area. Participants were asked to fill out a survey asking for family medical history, personal medical history, and other things like tobacco use.

The first study of this kind was done in the 1950's and successfully linked cancer to smoking. Many participants hope for a similar outcome with this study.

“I have breast cancer real heavily in my family- my mom, my aunts, and my grandmother. So I strongly support any kind of research for cancer,” said participant Marcella Bernardino.

Smith says she has seen too many friends and family members get diagnosed with cancer and that the amount of pain from a blood sample is a small price to pay for a potential cure.

“You know, cancer touches everybody, including East Texans, we’ll learn more about what causes cancer from this study,” said Peter Campbell, with The American Cancer Society.

“I would like to see that this research can help my children and then help their children,” Bernardino said.

If you’re between the ages of 30 and 65 and have never had cancer, you are eligible to take part in this study. The study is being held in Tyler from October 1 through October 4. Click here for more information on how you can participate.

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