It's a number that researchers soon hope will decrease.
Now a new study will give them the information needed to help make that a reality.
Texarkana residents are being asked to get involved.
It's a disease that kills millions each year.
"We do cancer surgeries everyday," said Manager of Surgery at Christus St. Michael Caol Giese.
Yet researchers still have questions about this major health concern.
"I hate the fact that these patients are having to see us because of cancer," Giese said.
Now Texarkana residents can help the American Cancer Society find answers.
"What we're doing is basically trying to figure out different risk factors that may cause or prevent cancer so we can help future generations know how to prevent it," said ACS Communications Manager Courtney Hickey.
It's called CPS-3 (Cancer Prevention Study 3) and is for those ages 30-65 who've never been diagnosed with cancer.
"when you first sign up you set an appointment for August 27th or 28th," said Hickey. "There you'll fill a survey, we'll get a small draw of blood and a waist measurement. That blood is never tested, never pulled unless somewhere down the line you're diagnosed with cancer."
The study will enroll a diverse population of 300,000 people from across the nation including 200 from Texarkana.
Already those interested are signing up to help make a difference in cancer research.
Like Giese, who's family has been hit hard with the disease.
"I think it's going to help regardless, everyone can make a difference," said giese. "If I can help one person that's worth it."
The study lasts for 20-30 years, a minor commitment that can help save thousands of lives.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," Hickey said. "This is a chance for Texarkana to be a part of history and change cancer forever."
The survey includes questions about lifestyle, medications, and diet.
Signing up is easy and can be done here.
Appointments will be made on either August 27th or 28th and will be done at Christus St. Michael.
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.