Atlantic Canada Has Key Role in National Cancer Prevention Study

    HALIFAX, June 11 /CNW/ - Today's official launch of The Canadian
Partnership for Tomorrow Project represents a major step in the development of
a comprehensive cancer control strategy, says Dr. Louise Parker who heads the
project in the Atlantic region.
    "This project provides a solid foundation for controlling and ultimately
preventing cancer," says Dr. Parker. "The information we obtain through The
Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project will be a significant resource for
epidemiologic, clinical and basic scientific research into the causes of
cancer in Atlantic Canada and the rest of the country."
    A research project involving 300,000 Canadians between the ages of 35 and
69 that will explore how genetics, environment and lifestyle contribute to the
development of cancer, the pan-Canadian study is funded by the Canadian
Partnership Against Cancer, an independent organization established by the
federal government to accelerate action on cancer control.
    The Atlantic component of the national project, the Atlantic Partnership
for Tomorrow's Health (PATH), will start recruiting 30,000 volunteers from
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador
in early fall. Study participants will provide lifestyle and health
information by completing questionnaires, providing physical measurements and
allowing blood and other samples to be taken.
    PATH participants will be followed for a number of years, periodically
being requested to complete additional questionnaires and provide additional
measurements and biological samples. Health outcomes will also be tracked
through databases of provincial cancer registries, physician billings,
hospitalizations and vital statistics.
    "The Atlantic provinces have the highest rates of cancer in Canada," says
Dr. Parker, "and the PATH project will help us to understand why the rates are
so high in the region and, more importantly, to develop strategies dealing
with those underlying causes and significantly reducing those rates."

    The major benefits of the Atlantic PATH and the national partnership
projects are:

    - A better understanding of the environmental, genetic and lifestyle
      factors likely to lead to cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
    - An opportunity to test new hypotheses as we learn more about cancer and
      its causes, since we will be tracking participants over many years.
    - Creation of a national bank of population health information with
      tremendous potential for answering health questions that will benefit
      Canadians for years to come.

For further information:

For further information: Dr. Louise Parker, Canadian Cancer Society
(Nova Scotia Division), Chair in Population Cancer Research, Dalhousie
University, (902) 494-3566

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