A good idea
Seeing a major cancer research study leave Alberta’s two major centres and travel to the smaller communities is a step in the right direction.
The Tomorrow Project, a major longitudinal study looking into the connection between lifestyle and cancer risk, made a two-day stop in Westlock last week.
Its goal is to determine what types of lifestyles make people more susceptible to developing cancer, as well as to see what effect a person’s physical characteristics have on that cancer risk.
While the project has been ongoing for a number of years now, collecting information from participants by way of in-person visits to the Edmonton and Calgary study centres or personal questionnaires, Westlock mayor Bruce Lennon hit the nail on the head when he observed what benefits come from making trips out of the cities. “It’s good that they’re getting out of the cities and out into the rurals,” he said. “It will help provide a more accurate sample.”
He couldn’t be more right.
For something as substantial and insidious as cancer, gathering as much information as possible, along with making sure it’s as accurate as possible, is key to learning how the disease works and what can be done to fight it, if not eliminate it.
It’s also obvious from the number of people who came to the study centre in the Westlock Inn that many others feel the same way. Although the room was not crowded, Tomorrow Project staff on hand said nearly 100 people had registered to come in and provide samples and have their body measurements recorded.
For some of those people, like Lennon, it was the first time they had participated. For others, like MLA Maureen Kubinec, it was a chance to supply tangible data to accompany the information she’d already been providing for the past five years.
All in all, to have Westlock be a stopping point on the Tomorrow Project’s path through Alberta’s rural communities speaks to how important it is to get out to get the information needed to make a difference.
Westlock is only an hour outside Edmonton, but that time can be a hindrance to people who want to help.
Having the study come to us shows how important the cancer cause is.
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