The American Cancer Society is looking to enroll 300,000 people in an historic research study in the hopes of giving scientists a better understanding of cancer causes and prevention.

American Cancer Society (Facebook)

The group is partnering up with the Somerset Medical Center, Sanofi US and Somerset Hills YMCA during the month of November to recruit as many New Jersey residents as possible.

"We're looking for men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 from various racial and ethnic backgrounds who have never been diagnosed with cancer," said Jason Plaia, senior representative of Community Engagement for the American Cancer Society. "The goal is to see how lifestyle, behavioral, environmental and genetic factors either prevent or cause cancer over a period of time."

Signing up requires a one-time in-person visit to read and sign a consent form and complete a survey. Participants also must have their waist measured, give a small blood sample and complete a more detailed survey at home. Over the course of the study, participants will be asked to complete a survey every two to three years over a period of 20 to 30 years.

Previous American Cancer Prevention Studies, CPS-1 and CPS-2, have played a major role in understanding cancer prevention and risk. The studies also contributed to the scientific basis and development of public, health guidelines and recommendations.

Some key findings include:

  • The first to show the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.
  • The first to show the significant impact of obesity on risk of dying from cancer.
  • The first to show the link between aspirin use and lower risk of colon cancer.
  • The demonstrated impact of physical activity, diet, hormone use, other medications and vitamins, and various other factors in relation to cancer risk.
  • The substantial impact of air pollution on heart and lung conditions, which motivated the Environmental Protection Agency.

"This study and the questions asked, can lead to answers. The results could potentially show links between individuals behavior and the diagnosis of cancer," said Plaia.

For more information on CPS-3 enrollments, visit www.cps3northwestnj.org and www.cps3southjersey.org or call 1-888-604-5888. Enrollment closes at the end of November.