Long-term cancer prevention

September 29, 2011

 Dr. John Spinelli blogs for us about long-term cancer prevention.

It might be easy to wait for researchers from other countries to figure out the causes and ways to prevent cancer, but there are problems with this approach. For example, researchers in other countries might not examine factors that are relevant to us in B.C., such as how our specific environment plays a role. Also, research in other countries may not be relevant to the multicultural population we have here in British Columbia. Collecting the data and conducting the research here also helps keep British Columbia on the cutting edge of prevention strategies. The BC Generations Project will truly place B.C. at the forefront of understanding the causes of cancer.

The best way to find out what causes cancer, or any disease, is to study large numbers of people before they get the disease. That is why we are asking for participation from such a large group of people. Much of what we know about the causes of heart disease comes from studying population groups, but on a smaller scale than this project. More people are needed to determine the causes of cancer because we want to be able to understand not just the causes of major cancers, but even the rarer ones, too.

As mentioned in my last post, we have had a great response to our assessment centres so far, and I hope this success continues. The BC Generations Project is our best chance to prevent cancer in future generations of British Columbians because the data will contribute to getting at the root causes of all types of cancer. We can’t prevent cancer until we know what causes it. The Project will also provide valuable information on how to enhance early detection and screening methods. All this and more is possible through this project.

I’ve invested a lot of my research time to this initiative because it will benefit my children and the children of all British Columbians. It is such a valuable resource – a gold mine of data that researchers will be able to use to gain important knowledge long into the future. All details about how you can participate are on the BC Generations Project website.

Thank you for reading,