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Stith Tackles Cancer Through Prevention

Annual Report - Winter 2011

Former football player 
leads by example

By Lana Maciel

Carel Stith knows a thing or two about the importance of good health.

It was a value instilled in him during training as a defensive tackle for the Houston Oilers football team from 1967 to 1969, and it has stuck with him for nearly 40 years.

When Stith’s next-door neighbor, a former MD Anderson nurse, approached him in 2002 about participating in a nationwide clinical trial for prostate cancer prevention, he immediately agreed. He knew his involvement would help promote awareness for men at risk.

Stith served on SELECT board

In fact, his involvement with the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) study went beyond just being a participant. Stith spent seven years on the SELECT Advisory Board, interacting with researchers and fellow participants involved in the study.

Former University of Nebraska and Houston Oilers 
football player Carel Stith is helping tackle 
prostate and colorectal cancers. 
Photo: F. Carter Smith

“We had more than 30,000 men ages 50 and up providing samples for research,” he says. “Having this large database of information on men’s health is invaluable.”

Though the SELECT study was discontinued when interim data analysis indicated that neither supplement offered protection against prostate cancer, the 65-year-old Houston attorney says he continues to contribute because he believes in taking a stand against prostate and colorectal cancers.

“Being a part of something like this is rewarding because it aims to make life better for men in the future,” Stith says.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center