ATLANTA -- The American Cancer Society is looking for as many as a half million volunteers for a ground-breaking cancer prevention study in hopes of pinpointing some of the causes of the deadly disease.
"There's a critical need to recruit a diverse study population. And that's one challenge we've taken on, " said Alpa Patel, a leader researcher with the project.
Volunteers will be asked to fill out a comprehensive health survey, and have their vital signs like height, weight and blood pressure measured and recorded. Study participants will also asked to give a blood sample and fill out follow-up questionnaires that will be sent out every few years.
This latest cancer prevention study is the fourth of its kind. Earlier studies helped to establish the link between smoking, diet and obesity to cancer.
The American Cancer Society is making special efforts to reach out to groups -- communities of color in particular -- who have been underrepresented in past research projects.
Researchers say they hope understanding the underlying causes of cancer will bring them a step closer to a cure.