National Cancer Prevention Month

Join the American Association for Cancer Research in supporting research to prevent cancer.

Research has shown that more than 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed and nearly half of all deaths from cancer in the United States can be attributed to preventable causes – things like smoking, excess body weight, physical inactivity, and excessive exposure to the sun.

As a result, steps such as quitting smoking (or never starting in the first place), maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, protecting your skin from the sun, and getting vaccinated against the pathogens that cause certain cancers can dramatically reduce your risk of certain cancers.

Get more information about cancer prevention in the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2021, including how modifying behaviors can impact cancer outcomes. And take our Cancer Prevention Quiz to test your knowledge and learn more about cancer risk reduction.

In the United States, many of the greatest reductions in cancer morbidity and mortality have been achieved through the implementation of effective public education and policy initiatives. 

For example, such initiatives drove down cigarette smoking rates among U.S. adults by greater than twofold from 1965 to 2017. But three out of 10 cancer deaths are still caused by cigarette smoking, and lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for both men and women. 

It remains imperative that we identify strategies to enhance the dissemination and implementation of our current knowledge of cancer prevention.

And because the burden of preventable cancer risk factors is not shared equally—and that burden is higher among racial and ethnic minorities and other underserved people—it is imperative to implement effective evidence-based practices that reduce risky behaviors for everyone. Learn more in the AACR Cancer Disparities Progress Report.

The AACR is committed to advancing the science of cancer prevention. The AACR Cancer Prevention Working Group provides a forum for communication and collaboration among basic, translational, and clinical scientists, physicians, nurses, as well as practicing medical, surgical, and oncologists in academia, industry, and government.

The AACR works with a wide range of partners in biomedical research to develop strategies and promising approaches to prevention, aiming to stop cancer before it starts. 

And our nine peer-reviewed medical journals, including Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention and Cancer Prevention Research, feature leading-edge research in the field.