October is National Breast Cancer Month, and local organizations are working with the American Cancer Society to bring cancer prevention efforts home to Aiken.

At local breast cancer prevention awareness events such as a health fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at Newman Technologies, Aiken Technical College’s Pink Tea from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday and TLC Medical Centre’s Locks of Love haircut sessions each Saturday in October, the ACS is giving out fliers about the Cancer Prevention Study 3, a major long-term research effort for the ACS.

“It’s coincidental that our enrollment period happens to fall during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s a great time to promote awareness about breast cancer and the importance of prevention,” said ACS community manager Lisa Glass. “We have partnerships with Aiken Regional Medical Centers and TLC Medical Centre, as well as Aiken Tech and the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center. It’s important to get the community involved, and we’ve had such phenomenal support from Aiken.”

The CPS3 study is open to men and women between age 30 and 65 who have no personal history of cancer.

The American Cancer Society Epidemiology Research Program is studying the subject pool of 300,000 people’s lifestyles, behavior, environments and genetics over a 30-year period in hopes of learning more about the causes and possible prevention of cancer.

ACS will hold two events to sign up people wishing to participate in the study – from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center and from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Aiken Technical College.

They will draw a blood sample and take a waist measurement, along with administering a detailed survey of personal and health history.

“It’s important to become involved because we need to study healthy individuals to learn more about ways that we can prevent cancer. We know that 65 percent of cancers are preventable, and we want that number to rise,” Glass said.

Study participants will receive annual newsletters on the study’s progress and follow-up surveys every few years to update study information.

All information given to the ACS as part of the study will be kept in strictest confidence, Glass said.

“We want subjects between 30 and 65 who are cancer-free to make a small blood donation, have their waist measured and complete surveys every two to three years to help us find more ways to prevent cancer and find cures. The first studies had more men involved, and cancer affects everyone, so it’s important to have as broad a pool of participants as possible,” Glass said.

“To date we have 104 participants registered locally, and we have space for 200, so we want to be sure to include everyone. It’s important to register so everyone gets a spot,” she continued.

For more information about the study, visit www.cps3aiken.org. For more information about local breast cancer awareness and study sign-up events, call Glass at 295-3758.

Suzanne Stone is a general assignment reporter at the Aiken Standard. She is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art & Design and studied communications at Augusta State University. She is a native of Augusta.